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Thread: The West is not in a post-industrial age

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    Default The West is not in a post-industrial age

    Quote from Stephen Odell
    Ford CEO Europe

    "It was a mistake in the 1980s to believe the West was entering a post-industrial age, and it was a mistake to believe this country could focus its economy on financial services. The important thing now is to learn from those mistakes."

    "Happily, British policy makers are once again also beginning to see it. I believe they increasingly understand the importance of a strong manufacturing base, and I detect a renewed sense of urgency to re-establish a stronger manufacturing base in this country.

    http://www.just-auto.com/interview/s...id1122609.aspx
    Last edited by SDP; 08-03-2012 at 07:21 AM.

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    The link does not work

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    just auto stephen odell interview

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDP View Post
    Quote from Stephen Odell
    Ford CEO Europe

    "It was a mistake in the 1980s to believe the West was entering a post-industrial age, and it was a mistake to believe this country could focus its economy on financial services. The important thing now is to learn from those mistakes."

    "Happily, British policy makers are once again also beginning to see it. I believe they increasingly understand the importance of a strong manufacturing base, and I detect a renewed sense of urgency to re-establish a stronger manufacturing base in this country.

    http://www.just-auto.com/interview/s...id1122609.aspx
    SDP: The economy of the developed world is based on a capitalist economy which was a creation of industrialisation. However, there can be little doubt that the economy as a sources of employment is now post-industrial. In the late 1950s' and 1960s, for example, agriculture was producing more crops than at any time in our history, simultaneously, the work-force was diminishing. Even then, much of their workforce was in marginal, hill, and crofter activities. It was not, as a consequence, described as an agricultural economy. The same now applies to industry. What part of the economy is the most important; where the wealth is made, or where the greatest number of the workforce is employed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey Collier View Post
    SDP: The economy of the developed world is based on a capitalist economy which was a creation of industrialisation. However, there can be little doubt that the economy as a sources of employment is now post-industrial. In the late 1950s' and 1960s, for example, agriculture was producing more crops than at any time in our history, simultaneously, the work-force was diminishing. Even then, much of their workforce was in marginal, hill, and crofter activities. It was not, as a consequence, described as an agricultural economy. The same now applies to industry. What part of the economy is the most important; where the wealth is made, or where the greatest number of the workforce is employed?
    Geoffrey Collier

    The Lib/Lab/Con believe that wealth is created by "Laisser Faire" do nothing economics. The government sits back and watches the economy helpless to assist. While in our parliament in London they simply argue endlessly on how to spend our money.

    It seems to me that the only method of wealth creation left in Britain is Quantitative Easing. And the answer to where the greatest number of workers are employed, is in our bloated civil service.

    The employment situation is not helped by David Cameron giving all the major manufacturing contracts like the Bombardier contract to Germany, Royal Navy ships to South Korea and the Olmypic ticket printing contract to the USA.

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    Geoffrey Collier

    We must go back to the 60's.

    Back to the golden age of British manufacturing, before we joined the disastrous Common Market in 1972.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDP View Post
    Geoffrey Collier

    We must go back to the 60's.

    Back to the golden age of British manufacturing, before we joined the disastrous Common Market in 1972.
    The problem is that not enough of Britain's labour practices, management techniques and business skills have moved from '60s thinking. Far from entrenching them any further, commerce and industry should be encouraged to engage with the 21st century!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    The problem is that not enough of Britain's labour practices, management techniques and business skills have moved from '60s thinking. Far from entrenching them any further, commerce and industry should be encouraged to engage with the 21st century!
    I agree but the benefit of abandoning the EU is that we can at least support our own industry which is what many of our European competitors do anyway. We naively follow the letter of EU law here. Also British people have embraced the global free market which you find much less so in countries such as France and Germany and in Scandinavia who tend to favour their own national products even when foreign imports, including from other European nations, are clearly superior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ron View Post
    I agree but the benefit of abandoning the EU is that we can at least support our own industry which is what many of our European competitors do anyway. We naively follow the letter of EU law here. Also British people have embraced the global free market which you find much less so in countries such as France and Germany and in Scandinavia who tend to favour their own national products even when foreign imports, including from other European nations, are clearly superior.
    Depends what the UK abandons the EU for. Life would be very difficult as an island economy trying to export to a large market with which Britain has no formal trade agreements. Personally, I don't think the evidence for the UK leaving the EU stacks up. To my mind we're better in than out. But that's no reason not to also have trading partners elsewhere.

    I see no evidence of customers in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc, ignoring superior products from elsewhere. Supermarkets are stocked with each others' products. Cars, washing machines, TVs come from the sources you'd expect. Petrol stations pump recognisable brands. The list goes on. Yes, European companies lobby for contracts and complain with all sorts of excuses when when others win them. That's business.

    Maybe the UK is just needs to beef up its marketing skills...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patman Post View Post
    Depends what the UK abandons the EU for. Life would be very difficult as an island economy trying to export to a large market with which Britain has no formal trade agreements. Personally, I don't think the evidence for the UK leaving the EU stacks up. To my mind we're better in than out. But that's no reason not to also have trading partners elsewhere.

    I see no evidence of customers in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc, ignoring superior products from elsewhere. Supermarkets are stocked with each others' products. Cars, washing machines, TVs come from the sources you'd expect. Petrol stations pump recognisable brands. The list goes on. Yes, European companies lobby for contracts and complain with all sorts of excuses when when others win them. That's business.

    Maybe the UK is just needs to beef up its marketing skills...
    I wouldn't suggest for one moment the UK broke its trade links with the EU. It is the political straight jacket I want to shake off and not the trade agreements.

    There is strong national brand preference for products such as cars in France, anything Siemens makes in Germany, industrial products in Scandinavia as a few examples. I am thinking more in terms of items with which the UK directly competes rather than universal Chinese imports and have direct experience of European buyers favouring locally made machinery and components over other imports. You never find that in the UK - we always want the best deal for our money regardless of origin. That would be fine and possibly is even a positive if government could redress the balance. Unfortunately the rules that only we seem to follow prevent that from happening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDP View Post
    Geoffrey Collier

    We must go back to the 60's.

    Back to the golden age of British manufacturing, before we joined the disastrous Common Market in 1972.
    SDP: I agree that we shouldn't have joined the (Common Market) EU, and I voted to withraw from it in the 1975 referendum.
    We can add a few other mistakes to the list. Decimalisation, which was accelerated to align with 'Europe' saw overnight 240d to the pound, become just 100p. That produced instant inflation. We could also add purchase tax being replaced by VAT. So we can at least agree on something. However, you have romantic notions about economics which blur your vision.


    Post 1945 saw an economic system which was broadly Keynesian based. A system which was compatible with both the market-place
    and welfare economics. The problems of the 1930s' had disappeared. In addition, and this needs special attention, we had manufacturing on a consideralbe scale. Let us give a thought to that. Many of those industries were the creation of the 20th.C. or merely existed in embryonic form in the early years of the 20th. C. Fortunately their methods of production required a large labour force. Mechanical and electro-mechanical products were the basis of much production. A very large part of that manufacture was consigned to history with the advent of electronics. Convince yourself; make a list of what now exists as electronic items, which previously had been mechanical or electro-mechanical. Calculators, weighing scales, clocks, watches, cash registers, and a host of other items are now produced virtually automatically. Big items like cars are produced in automated or semi-automated production plants. Traditional industries like textiles do not need a large labour force. One industry like ship-building could be re-activated with certain incentives offered. Free of all corporation tax, would be more than compensated for by providing large pools of labour with work in very specific locations. We could be even more generous and allow their sites to be free of business rates. Areas like the Clyde, Merseyside, Tyneside and a few other places would benefit. That that could only be given to very large manufacturers: thousands on the same site would be necessary. However, you have failed to separate scope for employment from your less specific claim to produce wealth. Given all the evidence which we have, how much employment could be created by your ideas, and what is the evidence? What are these manufacturers which would need large labour forces and remain profitable? In reality they are fewer than you think.

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