14 June 2013

The Economy Is Not a Race

I've mentioned before the new Tory narrative - that Britain is in a race and the economic challenge can be reduced to its ability to compete. The fact that I hear the same rhetoric from different ministers convinces me that this is a coordinated message.

Of course it is nonsense. One country's economic success can benefit other countries. Stronger growth in the eurozone would generally support growth in Britain.

Samuel Brittan goes off message to demolish the narrative in today's FT, "Politicians should stop their talk of competitiveness" He points out:
for a country or area with its own currency... its competitive position is entirely a matter of its exchange rate
His point not only undermines Mr Cameron's cozy story, it also flatly contradicts the view Mrs Merkel pushes on the Eurozone. For example:
The competitiveness of countries depends on many more issues than just weighing up imports against exports.
Samuel Brittan is right, politicians who see the economy in terms of competitiveness are capable of doing great harm.

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