Happy New Year to all Idle Slackers (and everyone else…)!

Happy New Year!

As we in the UK enjoy (if that’s the word) yet another Bank (public) Holiday today, one does wonder whether this national lethargy contributes towards our sinking relative place in the world. Certainly at this time in the UK, nothing happens for pretty much an entire two weeks every year.

It was reported recently that Brazil has now overtaken the UK as the world’s sixth largest economy, and while that is in total size rather than per capita, which is the more relevant measure for individuals of course, the growth in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere means that it won’t be  long before even that comparator gets much closer.

So can we afford to continue with our generous holiday entitlement? Not to mention minimum wages, “generous” social benefits and other goodies?  Well, it’s become clear that countries like Greece can’t afford their early retirement deals and other burdens on the State budget.  And I can see trouble ahead in the Western world as this trend grows and populations find they might actually have to start working harder, which goes against the grain of my entire lifetime!

But another possible response may be protectionism. Rather than rolling up our sleeves and taking on the hard-working Asian nations, we could put up the barriers. And while that wouldn’t be good for the global economy, you do wonder about the current fairness of the situation. The UK happily outsources all sorts of services to India for instance, but when you look at a sector where the UK has some of the best companies in the world – retail – you find that Tesco can't open supermarkets in India.

Anyway, let’s not start the year on a gloomy note, and as we appear to have some sunshine today for the first time in what seems like weeks, enjoy the Holiday! We’ll be back in full blogging swing tomorrow.

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First Voice

  1. Plan Bee:

    Hapy New Year to you Peter, and everyone else.

    Like the article……here’s a poser for you. Is continued growth a good thing? Yes we all can earn more money and obtain more things, but in the end more money is just going to put house prices up. The standard of living doesnt imnprove, but we work harder to achieve it.

    Bring it down to another level. You want that brand new sleek Mercedes, but to have it (rather than the perfectly fine 3 year old saloon you currently have) means delaying your retirement by a further 6 months.

    Good deal…which one makes you happier?

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