Even the patriotic Britons who write this blog are forced to
admit, with a mixture of envy and admiration, that Americans in general have a much
better grasp of the realities and responsibilities of business life than most
of our molly-coddled fellow Brits.
So it is no great surprise that a strong majority of
– unlike their own leaders – that reducing their federal deficit is more
important than spending to stimulate their economy.
Such a commendable attitude seems alien to the UK, where the
Chancellor of the Exchequer has just announced (1) government borrowing that was
even higher than anticipated and, at the same time, (2) more government
Being open-minded types who are prepared to test our
opinions against those of other people, we read the “Comments” on articles and
blogs with great attention. One in particular seems to sum up the superiority
of the American way of thinking, as simply...
that it might be better to pay their delinquent mortgages than going to
The wisdom of that remark applies to individuals as well as
Politicians see increased consumption as the way out of
recession – they actually want us to go to Disneyland – but the fact is that it
is excessive borrowing, private as well as public, that got us into this mess,
and we will be out of it only when we return to sensible financial management,
private as well as public.
This applies to our businesses as well as our private
expenditure. Since we just managed to avoid a total disaster last year, some
businesses – most notably some banks – think it is safe to return to the
highway to Disneyland. Indeed, they already seem to be operating in a Magic
Kingdom where the last two years never happened.
It is perhaps worth noting that Disneyworld, Disneyland’s even
more extravagant younger brother, has a new “Twin Town” in Britain – Swindon, a
notoriously miserable place that has been hit particularly badly by the