Monday, June 12, 2006

Cue La Marseillaise

by Tom Bozzo

Are you reading Nina Camic's account of her springtime adventures in France? Why not?

From a recent dispatch:
Her daughter had done graduate work in San Francisco and so she knew the scoop. America, from a French person’s perspective: there is great concern that we do not use trains enough and that we lack bread stores in every village.
They know us all too well. This is as good of a time as any to add my little bit of linkitude to this gem from the Financial Times (subscription only; significant excerpt at Economist's View):
Our Martian friend scratches its heads. “When my economics professor last visited earth in 1945 he told me that the Europeans had just experienced a terrible civil war in which 36m people had been killed, including many of their most brilliant minds. Now you tell me that 60m French people produce almost as much economic output each year as 1.3bn Chinese, who have been the dominant economic power for most of your planet’s history. What is more, the French can do this while working 35-hour weeks and producing 246 different types of cheese. How did this economic miracle come about?”

The earthling economists stare at each other and then down at their feet. “We don’t normally look at things that way. We tend to say that Europe is suffering from ‘eurosclerosis’, you know, low growth, high unemployment, bloated welfare states and a looming demographic crisis.” “Maybe I need to talk to historians rather than economists...,” says our Martian friend...
The economics profession does a lot to abet politically motivated problematizing of things that don't resemble "free" "market" "capitalism" — the torrent of scare quotes are needed because, as Pietra Rivoli observes, more economic activity than you might think is organized to avoid exposure to competive markets — affordable and reliable electricity, being able to access whatever services you want on the Internets, etc.
He he he. Those Martians have a good head on their shoulders. Maybe they just like smelly cheeses. I know that I do.
"low growth, high unemployment, bloated welfare states [meaning they tend to health benefits], and a looming demographic crisis"

They've been reading too much Prescott.

I'm still trying to decide where to put a post with the simple title of "Economists are People who believe Non-Procreative Sex is a Waste of Resources," but you've probably saved me from doing it here.
Ken: Your comment reminds me the Monty Python song "every sperm is sacred". He he he.
I'm convinced it's the afternoon nap that pushes them forward. Allowing that our productivity probably peaks at 11am and then goes into a slide mode, isn't it better to stop at 12, eat, sleep, waste a few resources on non-procreative sex and then do another little work spurt between 3:30 and 5?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?