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Recession pulls hemlines down

December 9, 2008

Now that the recession is biting, skirts have nearly hit the floor, says Celia Walden.

The above article seen today in the Daily Telegraph (UK). How is this relevant to China?

Well, quite simply, and I do not say this lightly, right now I am ashamed to be British. A once proud and great nation now so depressed and complacent that the current economic crisis is actually cause to celebrate as it gives everyone even more of a reason to be gloomy and to give up.

I cannot even begin to comprehend the thought processes that would make a fashion writer link hemlines to the economy nor do I wish to consider just how far Ms. Walden’s grasp of macro-economic theory goes but I do find it very sad that even Chris Moyles, the doyen of early morning puerility on British radio is obsessed with talking about how the whole nation is going bankrupt. That’ll help keep the kids off drugs and alcohol and working hard in school.

The sad thing is that Britain is not going bankrupt, there is more wealth in London than ever before and as soon as people take the blinkers off and start to invest in real projects* again then the economy will get back on its feet.

Britain is a country that, for the most part, believes that it has had its time at the top and that it is all downhill from here. China, on the other hand believes that this will be its century.

Never mind the fact that the two economies are of roughly equal size and that means the GDP per capita of China is miniscule when compared to that of the UK, China has terrible levels of innovation, poor protection for those who do innovate and is still essentially the work-house of the world churning out cheap goods for K-Mart.

None of this matters because China believes that IT CAN and as Henry Ford said- If you believe you can, or believe you can’t, generally you are correct.

Economic growth is not a zero sum gain. Now is the time for Britain (and anyone else reading this) to ignore what Gordon Brown and Chris Moyles say and go participate in what is happening in the emerging markets.

China may not yet be the economic super-power it wishes to be but at least it has a vision and that is a very positive thing indeed no matter who you are or what you do.

*May I be so bold as to suggest that rather than investing in bank products that not even the people who invented them understand, let’s try putting money into projects that produce real things that will be demanded by real people.

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