Sunday, 26 September 2010

How many countries committed "economic suicide"

Many countries suffocated their own productive forces in their economy via red tape etc thus paving the way for imports to come in and rule!

Consider: What are the real causes - factors that turned eg the US & the UK from net mega exporters to net mega importers in only a few decades?

In many countries it started making much more sense to import than to produce (due to red tape and other conditions) = "economic suicide"

Release real growth and real jobs from the chains of over-regulation and red tape!

It seems that the key skills for success in business etc today are not biz studies or motivation/inspiration but legal ones.

Why?

Due to over-legislation & red tape!

Stop "killing" personal & business creativity via over-regulation, over-legislation & the resulting red tape monster (national and cross border). This IMO applies to most areas of economic activity (excludes the Finance sector though). In other words, regulate Finance more, radically deregulate real business, for "healthy"/viable real growth and jobs!

Because the "governing dynamic" is: Whatever you decide to do, red tape wlll eventually catch up with you!

How many jobs in EUrope are created and maintained by red tape? How much growth and real jobs do they prevent from happening?

A large part of legal frameworks for business in European & other countries were created in the industrial era, based on an implicit belief that business (big industry with its high start-up and fixed costs) was a big bad wolf! In the Services era this is even more irrelevant & job desructive than ever!

Entry to markets, economic activities & professions, either national or cross-border suffocate real growth and real jobs or the real economy.

The roots:

In older days, markets, industries & professions were protected via over-regulation, red tape & other barrriers. The system kind of worked, then, providing "stability" (and sclerosis) for companies, professionals & workers. But with freedom of trade etc, the system has IMO collapsed and mobility (across sectors, professions and borders) for companies, professionals and workers is still fenced, hence systemic instability and lack of real growth and jobs at various national (eg USA), regional (eg Europe) and global levels.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Outsource This: Thoughts on current dynamics (EU, UK, USA, World)

A solid decision must take into account local, national, regional (eg EU) and global regulatory & legislative constraints. Not an easy time for decision makers then!

Eg business in 2011 will have little in common with business in 2008. In that the conditions & working assumptions of 2008 that affect business have changed radically, it's a totally new "ballgame".

Eg (policy) to address the demands of the times governments need to completely overhaul the philosophy & the existing body of legislation & regulations.


Management: From out-sourcing to in-sourcing?

The competitiveness of economies (for business location purposes) is IMO a matter for the Strategy - Corporate Planning Dept of a corporation to determine, on a case basis. Yet most corporations do not have such depts since many decades ago. Maybe that's the "problem"!

In a few years, some corporations will be outsourcing the top management function of the corp. as well!
Is it time for corporation to start "in-sourcing" their advertising, strategy, IT, HR, functions/depts? #management (back to basics).
The decline of the Roman Empire started when they started outsourcing to the Goths, the Vandals, etc.
The decline of Sparta started when they started outsourcing their left flank to "allies".
And the decline of capitalism started when corporations started "outsourcing" their capital needs to the "markets" & banks rather than their shareholders.

By outsourcing important functions, corporations looked lean & mean in the eyes of the "markets" & analysts but in fact became "anorexic".

Plus, many analysts & commentators act as if they are judges in talent shows, "judging" corporations & countriies as if they are hopeful singers, puting even more pressure on publicly quoted corporations to max performance short term.


Exporters = modern heroes?

Are there mindset factors at play in the loss of exports competitiveness of the US and the UK in recent decades?


Information (and analysis) is Power

The US and the UK are used to analysing the world (think tanks, media, etc).
In recent times, the "world" is also analysing the US & the UK!


Are mentalities and attitudes in the UK but also Germany & France the key barrier to a deeper EU?
a) They dub foreign lang TV shows & films about 3 hours ago via web
b) They are pro EU as long as the EU is molded in their national model
c) France after all almost rejected Maastricht and rejected the pre-Lisbon Constitutional Treaty (in May '05).
d) Gernany's participation in a deeper EU seems tied by the decision of its Const Court.

The EU isn't in crisis this year. It has always been in crisis, because the EU & EEC/ECs were/are built via weird design & flawed project management!


Can a leader lead EUrope and his/her country at the same time?
The obvious answer would be: Yes.
Case study to the contrary: A few months ago Nicolas Sarkozy seemed to be the kind of visionary leader that could steer EUrope forward, through the debt crisis etc. A few monhs later, his proposals and actions in the field of immigration (recall of citizenship, Roma etc) in an effort to please a certain section of the French electorate have tainted his and his country's leadership role in EUrope!


The EU and the UK in a prisoner's dilemma!

The issue of a UK referendum on EU membership is kept alive in the UK. Polls indicate a strong lead againt EU memership (ie exit of the UK from the EU).

A few introductory notes:

* It's the Lisbon Treaty Euroskeptics fought against that actually provides a process for the #UK to leave the EU, should it so decide!!!

* The sovereignty card being played by English and other British Euroskeptics and anti-EUers could IMO actually backfire on England!

* I still think the UK could actually lead the EU into a deeper union! But it would require a major change in mentality (via better info). Read what I mean, below!

* Would the UK have a a) better or b) worse balance of payments if it was outside the EU and its Single Market?

* Would the potential for a deeper - fuller European Union increase without the UK (europhobia) & Germany (constitutional constraints etc)?

* Is a) the #UK b) Germany c) both d) other e) no MS holding back a "deeper" #EU (army, taxation, econ gov, etc)?

Here's my take:

Legal systems in Europe tend to have very different philosophies, eg British vs French vs German vs Italian. Yet another Babel!

Actually IMO better law-making could lead to a very large reduction in the number & volume of laws & better "protection" of people.

Those who fear that the EU leads to laws being decided by the EU institutions rather than national ones are right! A single market needs "single" (or common) laws in most areas in order for the market to be single (or common).

The UK's Euroskepticism is in my opinion justified only in that Euro continental policy & law making is more interventionist (see "dirigisme") compared to the British. The solution to that is a pro-EU UK that leads the thinking towards a deeper union that has better but less legislation (federal & national). A deeper yet less interventionist European Union with single yet fewer and "better" law and "statist" intervention! That is the best solution in the "prisoners dilemma" of the EU and the UK.

If UK and EU continue in their current paths, a lose-lose "divorce" seems inevitable down the line. The UK tradition for less interventionist policy & law making has many allies in all other member states but someone needs to lead the way With or without the UK, a dirigist EU will continue to lag behind the US plus lose ground to the BRICs, suffocating entrepreneurship & citizens.

One has to consider how the union system of the EU suffocates not only companies & growth but citizens as well. Let's take a look at the demographics of the "mighty" (in terms of GDP) Eurozone! A single state Europe is the only viable strategy! Plus: Can one argue that the Germanic states were better off before they were united into Germany in the 1870s?

Can a weirdly designed union of 27+ countries of 500 million compete with a solid 300 million US of A, the 1100 million of India and the 1300 million of China (for GDP/growth, jobs, etc)?

There are hundreds of languages spoken in the homes in the USA! But a single one is used in the workplaces and marketplaces. That means that national diversity can exist, even flourish, under uniform parameters, thus a single state Europe need not supress national "IDs". A single state EUrope is indeed a leap compared to the current situation & the socio-political trends in MS. But without vision Europe is bound for bust.

Otherwise, we might as well move back to a city-states system! Like eg pre-1870s Germany! Or Ancient Greece! With Germany, France and the UK vying for the dominant role, like Athens, Sparta and Macedonia or Thebes (Spain?)!
Ancient Greece has similarities to modern Europe. Greece did not become a single state until 1831 and after Roman and other occupations. When will Europe then become a single state? In 3010 or 4010 AD?

Without English as its lingua franca (in the workplaces & markets) the EU will remain a quaint linguistic Babel for American & other tourists! A real single EU market needs banks with connecting branches all over the EU, the ability to be serviced by a single mobile provider no matter where in the EU one lives, an EU-wide "NHS", an EU income tax system that encourages mobility, etc etc!

Anyway, in 50 yrs, Europe will probably either be
a) a single country OR
b) a huge museum for American, Japanese, Chinese, Indian etc tourists.

Probably the latter!

A continued Euro-chaos as now? That option actually leads Europe to the museum I mentioned.

I propose you also read my post: Britain and the heart of Europe, in 2005 (and today)


The pseudo-immigration problem in EUrope:

... of non-EU and intra-EU "immigrants" is IMO one of the reasons the EU will remain un-competitive in the world while the BRICs & US will do much better!

Intra-EU "migration" isn't supposed to be "migration", just like intra-EU sales are not considered exports/imports. Yet it is not treated that way. Maybe that's the problem with the EU. Most things are not clear cut, they are half-way, thus confusing the average person & firm. Everything EU is vague (flou). US-style inter-state relocation doesn't require a single EU state though. And sovereignty is another "flou" subject, globally! Ie what constitutes "sovereingty" in 2010 is quite different than in 1910, 1810, 810!

The population of a new member state should be given the same transition period constraints re relocation to one of the "old members". Not the current pick your choice between 0, 2, 5 and 7 (I think) years. In 2004, the UK chose a 0 years transition period for population of the "A8" new member, while many member states chose 2 years and 7 years (!!) was
chosen (I think) by France & Germany! Quite uneven! 2 years for all by all should be the policy, IMO.

But at present, EU citizens' freedom of intra-EU, inter-state relocation is not as free as intra-US, inter-state freedom. Alas EU laws don't give EU citizens per se freedom to relocate, only give it to those who find job, start biz or have means not to become burden on the state. But does not apply to intra-US "migration", eg when a Californian moves to New York or vice versa.


Certainties about Uncertainty & Economics vs Physics

There is an ongoing debate re the certainties of Economics and its similarities and difference with sciences such as Plysics.

This is my take:

Between certainty and "que sera, sera", there is a lot of room in between! A lot!

Having studied Prob/Stats, OR (Operations Research) - Decision Sciences while at MIT & NU & Finance at INSEAD I wouldn't over-estimate their ability to predict.

How many are aware of the maximum efficiency frontier on a E(return) vs E(risk) table, anyway?

The trade-off between expected return and expected risk (curve) remains one of the most not understood Financial (and decision sciences) concepts.

The use of either perfect markets or perfect information hypothesis in most Economic theories & analyses waters down the realism of the results.

In spite of the use of fancy math formalas in recent decades Economics (including) is still a Social Science. Physics is a Natural Science.

I used math/OR to try to better assign aircraft to flights in my MS thesis (1987) but didn't claim I was actually optimising, ie finding an exact or perfect solution!

A lot of Economic & Financial stuff these days seems more like product of a "religion" (see dogma/dogmae) rather than a science!

Economics, including macroeconomics, is a useful tool, but still not Physics" or able to predict/assess with the certainty we read quoted in or by well known media etc!

In other words, I agree with the conclusion in Legrain's Aftershock book but of course Macroeconomics is not Physics. Riccardo was not Newton!


Spare thoughts:

WTO -Doha: Have the US Congress & Senate given Obama the "fast track" powers GW Bush had?

UK exports in Services: £3.8 billion surplus on trade in services in July, surplus of £3.6 billion in June. Not too bad, eh?

Civil Society will make or break the European Integration

Banking and Finance are not the core of modern economies

SMEs must take a more proactive approach to European Integration

Hungary says will meet euro criteria by 2014-15

Monday, 13 September 2010

Britain and the heart of Europe, in 2005 (and today)

The following three part analysis was written in late June - early July 2005, in view of the UK's Presidency of the EU (second semester of 2005).

I think it is quite relevant for Britain and for the EU 5 years later. How relevant? That is for you to say!



Britain and the heart of Europe


Some years ago, Mr. Tony Blair appeared to be the man who would take Britain to the heart of Europe.

An island, now connected to the mainland of the European continent via an underwater tunnel (Channel Tunnel), Britain and with Northern Ireland constitute the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Since the end of business day, June 17, 2005, Tony Blair seems a very unlikely person to lead Britain to the heart of Europe (or is it the heart of the EU)?

The UK joined the European Communities (Economic, Atomic and Carbon and Steel) in the early seventies, having had many qualms about it.

With the then entry of the UK, Ireland and Denmark, the EC moved from 6 to 9 members (the original six were Germany, France, the Benelux three and Italy). It was the first enlargement of the EC, since its founding (Treaty of Rome). The next country to join was Greece, in the early eighties, leading the way for two more Southern European countries, the Mediterranean Spain and the Atlantic Portugal.

Four countries, the Southern three, Portugal, Spain, Greece along with Ireland, became the main recipients of the EC Structural-Regional funds. As well as the Italian South. This aid was tied to a new, then project, the "1992" - Single EU Market, which was a step up from the initial goal of the "Common Market".

Many people, especially in the UK, still referred to the European Economic Community as the "Common Market". Some, still do.

The integration of Europe via economics was going hand-in-hand with the aim to avoid a new World War, hence the co-operation (Communities) in carbon and steel and atomic energy.

In the eighties, the Common Market goal was replaced with a 'Single Market' goal. What is the difference?

Firstly, a market of 12 (then 15) rather than 6 countries. Without any tariffs and without any border controls for the trade of goods.

Intra-community trade made much easier, via a more level playing field, a 'single' one, which meant a large number of regulations and directives in order to streamline product standards within the Single Market.

Why? Because for trade to be as free as possible, product standards have to be either mutually recorgnised and accepted or merged into a single one!

For example, does an Italian consumer need a different product standard than a British one in order to be protected/safe?

That is a key philosophical, stretegic and policy issue, even today!

Does, for example, a Polish patient in Poland get a lower standard of medical support than a British or French one? That is an issue dealt, inter alia, by the infamous/famous "Services Directive" of the EU, which is still stuck in the EU's pipeline, and which Tony Blair was/is keen to promote for adoption during his chairmanship of the EU Council from July to December 2005.

Tony Blair's ambition to lead the EU may have been seriously sidetracked in the "collapsed" recent EU Summit over his leadership in not reaching an agreement over the EU budget for 2007-2013 (along, reportedly, with the Netherlands and Sweden, as well as Finland and Spain).

Is this upcoming UK presidency a real opportunity to take Britain to the heart of Europe?

That is a complex matter, actually. Because, inter alia:

Where is the heart of Europe?

Are we talking about the heart of Europe or the heart of the EU?

Are we talking about the economic, political, social, "power", cultural, scientific or some other kind of heart?

If we are talking about the economic, are we talking about the business heart or the financial heart, or both? The business of industry, of trade an/or of services? Of jobs?

Of tangible or of intangible (intellectual) products, such as music, film, etc.?

In terms of his appeal as a leader of Britain, Mr. Blair's win in the national elections in May came at a much narrower margin than his previous two. Whereas that would be somewhat natural for any leader running for a third consecutive win (only matched by the now Baroness Thatcher in recent UK times), it is the Iraq policy and style driven factor which seem to have put a dent in Mr. Blair's national appeal, compared to years past.

Yet Tony Blair is the man, the person, the leader, who assumed the leadership of his party following a) the surprise defeat of the favourite Labour in the early nineties (1992), under Neil Kinnock and b) the sudden passing, in 1994, of the late John Smith (after only a brief, 2-year, tenure at the helm of the Labour party).

It is none other than the then Home Affairs spokesperson of the Labour Party, Tony Blair, who won the leadership contest and proceeded to re-engineer the trade-union dominated party into a moderate Social-Democratic party. It is Tony Blair who followed the steps of Bill Clinton in "stealing" a major portion of the political/policy agenda of his conservative opponents and merging it with a new 'social' agenda, into a nouveau political agenda which captured the hearts and minds of enough Britons a few years later, giving this party a win of "sismic" proportions over the Tories!

Tony Blair's 'New Labour' may have alienated many traditional Labour members (just like Clinton's centrist agenda led, somewhat to the Nader candidacy in 2000, and Bush's narrowest-of-all-possible-margins-and-then-some victory over Al Gore).

But it gained the votes of many moderate and even conservative UK voters.

Gerhard Schroeder, in Germany, did a little bit of the same, following the rein of Helmut Kolh! So did some other 'neo-social' leaders in other European countries.

How successfull was the Clinton "third way-ish" political strategy recipe in Europe?

Oh, that is another complex and very interesting matter!

But this analysis is about the heart of Europe (or the EU) and Tony Blair's and Britain's journey towards it!

And like many other journeys, it has more than one "etapes" (stages).

End of Part I

-------------------------------------------------------

Britain and the heart of Europe - Part II


Britain's attempt to "relocate" to the political heart of Europe was never easy. Blame it on the backbenchers, blame it on the perennial feeling of any island towards the continent, blame it on many Englishmen's and Englishwomen's antipathy for any bureaucracy other than their precious own ("I don't want to be governed by Brussels but by Westminster"), blame it on many other factors.

It appears that many, many, Britons never wanted anything more than the Common Market membership (after ... the World Cup 1966 title!). Their national football team may not have had much European or World Cup success, other than 1966, but Liverpool and Nottingham Forest managed to go to the top of European club football many times until the 1985 Heyzel trouble, in (of all places).... Brussels!

No wonder then why many Britons have some kind of antipathy to the word "Brussels". Not with Belgium or the city itself.

After all,

Mrs. Agatha Christie's Hercules Poirot is a most 'sympa' (well liked) Belgian.

Belgium has many Ministries for each policy area (national, Flemish, Waloon, French-speaking, Flemish speaking, etc.).

But it is not Belgian bureaucracy that most Britons "hate". It is the Eurocratic one! One which, actually, employs many Britons. One which was, in effect, run by a Briton, for many years!

Maybe the UK's antipathy to the administrative EU machine can be explained by the theory that Britons are more than willing to co-habitate or co-work (or play) with all other Europeans, as long as it is under their own administrative system! After all, the British admin system is seen by many as exemplary! So why should they be willing to give up a prize system for a Babel-ish and very fuzzy one? Maybe they have a rational point there!

But the UK has never (dared) put forward the demand that the EU uses its own admin system!

Just as it has never, as far as the writer knows, actually asked for English to become the single working language of the EU. Or the only official one!

Maybe the UK should.

Instead, the UK has more or less always (since membership) been wishy-washy about Europe! "Yes, we want to be a part of it, but not too much". "Too much of what", one could ask them! That may indeed be the problem: What is "Europe"? How can one have too much or too little of something some ... vague?

On the other hand, French politics have always declared their utmost commitment to Europe, the ECs and now the EU. And, having done that, they always proceed to demand "the world" out of Europe. Leading, inter alia, to the famous "empty chair" crisis with Charles de Gaulle (when he abstained, in protest, from European Summits).

Europe's history is long, glorious, epic, tragic and zany. Case in point. It was Mrs M. Thatcher's insistence to veto other Commission presidency candidates which led to the eventual compromise candidacy and election of ... Jacques Delors in the mid 1980s!

Yes, The Jacques Delors, the Frenchman, the socialist, whose vision took the Common Market and turned it into an European Union! Mais oui, mes amis!

Yes, the EEC may have been constructed in Rome to aid Franco-German good neighbourly co-existence and friendship through economic and other co-operation, but it is thanks to a Briton that a Frenchman came to the position to take Europe into a level only some of its original visionaries had imagined (it was France too that in effect blocked creation of the 4th European Community, the Political, one, back in the 1950s).

It is the French who almost voted down the Maastricht Treaty (50.2% vs. 49.8%) in the nineties.

Yet it is usually the British who are 'credited' with many delays and setbacks in European integration! How fair is that?

As fair as a free trade area without a social arm?

As amazing as Eric Cantona's epic with Manchester United?

As amazingly international as the lineups in most of England's Premier League clubs?

As amazing as to think that England's head coach is Swedish!

Is the UK's role in the heart of Europe's affairs offset by its ambition to be near the heart of the center (centre) of the world, of the globe, of global affairs?

How come these two goals cannot be streamlined?

It is Europe's doing or is it Britain's?

Does Europe really want to become the center of the world? Can it? Is the US simply too powerful to be overcome at the top of the global "charts" or is Britain simply too ambitious to let an under-performing Europe "drag" it away from the center across the Atlantic? A former colony of the Great Britain, after all! One which a Frenchman, Marquis Lafayette, helped become autonomous!

Maybe Europe, not just the UK, has too much history to have a real ambitious present or future!

After all, the main reason English should, rationally, be the only lingua franca of the EU, is the US, after World War II! Do not blame the UK for that reality too! If the US had opted for French or Greek instead of English, as its official language, then maybe today English would not be the dominant language in Europe and the whole world. But it is! Who is to blame for that? In any case, not the British!

Plus, is it Britain's fault that its bureaucracy is viewed as exemplary by many countries? That consultants are paid hefty sums to export the British public admin model to other countries, either with EU or national funding (by the client countries)?

Is it Britain's fault that the mainly anglosaxon economic model of liberalism, with American add-ons, is the dominant one in the world today?

This brings us to the end of "etape deux" of this "trilogic" (three part) analysis!

End of Part II

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Britain and the heart of Europe - Part III


So which heart of Europe/EU is Tony Blair or another British leader supposed to take Britain to (this issue has been left unresolved since Part I)?

The UK is always one of the three who form a triange (triad) of power in the EU, judging by the frequent bilateral Summits between the leaders of France, Germany and Britain!

The Dutch (third biggest net contributor to the EU budget, above France), the Italians (large country and one of the 6 founders), Spain (another large country, in populus), etc. do not have such priviledges! The UK is in the triad. So, is it not in the heart of the EU's political hyper-power?

Is the journey to the heart of the EU project hampered then, simply, by the UK's geography?

Are the UK and Ireland Europe's natural bridges with the cross-Atlantic powers, due to geography and language?

Does this not give them extra power in the EU, too, compared let's say to Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, etc.?

Plus, the fact that to work in a country's job market you usually have to speak its language, does this not make the UK job market very attractive to most of the citizens of the EU who wish to work in a job market other than their native one, in the EU (not including, of course, the option of working for one of the EU's institutions)?

How fair is this competition to the UK worker, compared let's say to the French, the Italian, the Spanish, etc.?

For example, to work in the Belgian non-EU institutions related (directly or indirectly) job market, a non-Belgian has normally, to speak both French and Dutch! How easy it that?

The UK (and Ireland) offers its job markets to all other EU citizens! Should this not be appreciated?

Does this not make Britain "the heart" of the ex-pat market for jobs in the EU?

So, will Tony Blair be the man who takes Britain to the heart of the EU?

Heart implies emotion! Arts! Whose music is the EU listening to (in terms of intra-EU generated music)? Britain's!

Are the UK's underperformance in national teams' football and the Eurovision song contest key factors in creating the emotional aspect of the UK's anti-Europe perception? Probably not!

But we have strayed away from the original topic. Britain and the heart of Europe! The topic in not Europe and the heart of Britain!

Europe likes Britain. It buys its products, its music, watches more and more of its movies and other cultural products, watches BBC World, hears its BBC World Service, loves Man. United, Liverpool, and many other of its football teams, adores Mr. and Mrs. Beckham.

Does Europe like the UK's political leaders? Well, each country likes or dislikes its own leaders!

Does the European voter had/have Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Michael Howard, or the LibDems' Charles Kennedy near his or her heart?

Why should he/she? He/she does not get to vote for any of them anyway! So how can one, rationally, have close to his or her heart a political figure one cannot vote for or against?

That is the Catch 22 of the EU and of the way to its "heart"!

Actually, it is Catch 25!

--------------------------------------------

Nick Panayotopoulos, June-July 2005

"Think Local, Act Global" or ... whatever!

I wrote this post in my old blog 3+ years ago (June 19, 2007). Read it and see to what extent it remains current. IMO, it's even more current and relevant today than in June 2007!

Dynamics: "Think Local, Act Global" or ... whatever!

The management/business mantra used to be "Think Global", then it evolved to "Think Global, Act Local", then we sort of lost .. direction (somewhat like the people in the TV series). "Think Local, Act Global", or whatever!

Maybe "Think localglobal and act global-local"?

I kind of like the "global-ethnic" idea/strategy among others. Ie create and market a "product" which has 50% specific and identifiable and globally attractive "couleur local" and 50% global elements. Or, alternatively, is 50% "exotic" (to the local consumer) and 50% "known" and "familiar": Balance the foreign/xenon and the familiar/standard.

It's like the debate as to whether people are "all the same" or "each is unique". In my mind, each person is both unique and just like all other humans.

Some multinational business strategists call it "having local relevance". Hm!

But how on Earth can a company, even the most "global" or "multi-national" be relevant (and en plus, a "good neighbor", but that is a Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issue) in the 100, 150 or 200 national markets it operates in? Or does this apply mostly to "large" or otherwise "key" market? Eg China, India, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, USA, Brazil, South Africa, etc? "Relevant" to the national pop culture?

Assuming there is a unified "national pop culture" that is, instead of an amalgam of various ones!

Are some societies or national pop cultures more "global" than others?

Which country, economy, society, pop culture is the most "global" these days? The US, the UK, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Monaco, Canada? Or should one better use the notion of "cosmopolitan"?

Or should one look at locations/regions (pockets of cosmopolitanism or globalism) rather than cosmopolitan/global countries/nations? Eg CA or LA, NYC, London, Paris, Southern France, Mykonos, Ibiza, Cancun, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the Italian or Spanish or English football league, the NBA, Geneva, DC, Brussels, Singapore, Hong Kong, some areas in India and China, Berlin, etc?

Like Athens was in the 5th century BC, or Carthage (until the Romans literally levelled it), or Alexandria (after the death of Alexander), or Minoan Crete until the Thira volcano's tsunami, or Cairo, or Babylon, or Rome ("when in Rome"), or Constantinople (for at least 1000 years), or Florence in the 15th plus, or Paris in parts of the 20th century (for artists), etc?

thinking has to become more global, for jobs to remain local!

I wrote this post in my old blog 35 months ago (October 27, 2007). Read it and see to what extent it remains current. IMO, it's even more current and relevant today than in October 2007!

Who is thinking global?

America is not thinking global. That is the problem. What I mean is that the American people, in spite of the US's globalization power since after WWII, have not followed the global "thinking" of the US. Thus the US remained at heart, a "local" mentality based society and economy and these days, it shows.

It used to be Europeans and citizens of South American, Central American, African and Asian countries who complained about globalization!

Now it is the North Americans who are!! Sign of a new phase in globalization?
Food for thought for all!

I always thought that the anti-globalization movement would start where globalization started: USA and UK. Globalization and Anti-globalization: Both "Made in USA" (or "Made in Britain")!

How is that for "monopoly" (or at best duopoly in the world of marketable ideas!) But can a country make a living on selling ideas only (or mainly)? Or dreams (well, one did, for a long time and still does: The American Dream)! Remains to be seen!

Times are hard for you North Americans. I sympathise, but thinking has to become more global, for jobs to remain local!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Where are the leaders EUrope needs?

Few national politicians in Europe are known EU-wide.

USA:

But how many politicians even Senators who represent US states or governors are known to the general US public? Not as many one would expect (one has to factor in the fact that most Americans do not read US-wide newspapers or watch "national" news - to what extent new media are changing that?).

Eg how many of the roughly 10+10 initial candidates (in the parties' primaries) for US Pres. every 4 yrs are "known" to the average US voter?

EU:

Thus the "real" issue is how can a "new wave" of politicians who are known EU-wide (not just 1-2 member states or the "Brussels bubble") emerge!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

What EUrope needs, now!

EUrope needs leaders who will convince its people of the urgency for a EUrope that is truly united internally and in the world. A EUrope that celebrates diversity. A EUrope with single laws which nevertheless allow for this diversity. A new type of legislation.

EUrope needs to start producing EUropean laws that replace national ones yet allow for diversity while providing a single Law territory for citizens & companies.

This type of EUrope cannot cling to glorious national histories of often imperial or colonialist nature.

EU law making philosophy and process need radical overhaul that suit the demands of our epoch (& which fully replace national & local ones). The world needs a new modern type of Science of Legislation and Regulation and EUrope needs it even more! While early human societies suffered from under-regulation, modern Society suffers from over-regulation and legislation that suffocates persons and legal entities.

A EUrope that works for its citizens, micros and SMEs needs single laws, a single budget, a single revenue taxation system, a single army, etc, ie EUrope needs regulatory, policy and legal systemics that allow persons and SMEs to be active EU-wide with single bureaucracy - red tape.

To that effect, the USA is not a good model for EUrope to follow because the US today too suffocates by local, state & federal over-legislation & bureaucracy.
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