Not quite Willy, not quite

In large parts of the country there is no more than a “foundation economy” providing subsistence – supermarkets, petrol stations, schools, hospitals and local administration – with virtually no economic activity adding value.

What you mean is something different. Supermarkets are economic activity which add value, schools are, hospitals are.

What you mean is manufacturing activity, private sector export business activity, that sort of thing. And it is true, there are areas of Britain where the State is up at, even over, Soviet Bloc levels of the proportion of the economy.

Not something that’s going to be solved by more government though, is it?

13 comments on “Not quite Willy, not quite

  1. So we should replace welfare with a poll tax? People should be forced to be productive and not live as parasites on the state?

    I am warming to this Hutton guy. He could be on to something

  2. Got to admit, I do travel through various parts of the UK and wonder ‘what on earth do people actually do here?’

    Mind you, that even applies to Birmingham, so I’m probably setting my filter a bit high!

  3. “Yes, the madness of hard Brexit should be stopped”

    Woolly Willy, Rustbugger and their ilk will never give up. So all brexiters must be vigilant in 2017.

    Ecksy: that’s very witty!

  4. In large parts of the country there is no more than a “foundation economy” providing subsistence – supermarkets, petrol stations, schools, hospitals and local administration – with virtually no economic activity adding value.

    Hold your horses, I think he might be onto something.

  5. Oblong,

    In some places, the answer is just “retiring”. You go outside the more industrial bits of Wiltshire and into places like Devizes and Trowbridge, there’s lots of old people. There isn’t a lot of export industry, but there are jobs. Old people need doctors, cafes, shops, etc.

    And this is what Willy isn’t grasping (quelle surprise). These “foundation economy” places have arisen because they’re cheap and out of the way. You can move out of London, cash in the house and buy a little place in the sticks. It’s nice and quiet, crime free and pleasant.

    There are also agglomeration effects. If you are retired, there are benefits to being where other retired people are. Apart from socially, there are commerces that are easier to sustain when there’s old people around, like butchers shops. Libraries get used more with more old people. Bus routes can work out because so many more people use the bus.

  6. Oblong – “Got to admit, I do travel through various parts of the UK and wonder ‘what on earth do people actually do here?’”

    I wonder this about Russia. What do Russians actually do? They export oil and gas. That can’t employ even 1% of the population. They export timber. 2%? They have become grain exports again. 20%? At best. They make weapons.

    But when it comes to poor jobs, they import Tadjiks and Uzbeks. What are Russian men actually doing these days?

  7. In large parts of the country there is no more than a “foundation economy” providing subsistence – supermarkets, petrol stations, schools, hospitals and local administration – with virtually no economic activity adding value.

    Let’s move the Guardian offices there – they will transform the area with their “added value”.

  8. What are Russian men actually doing these days?
    Drinking themselves to death? While any girl with a half-decent photo is on a “Find a Russian bride” site.

  9. His answer taken to it’s logical conclusion is to remove the private sector supermarkets & petrol stations and have more public sector schools, hospitals and local administration funded by more tax.

    There is a solution to the problem in that scenario:
    1. No petrol – nobody can flee.
    2. No food – everyone dies.

    “foundation economy” – gone.

  10. “Got to admit, I do travel through various parts of the UK and wonder ‘what on earth do people actually do here?’”

    Indeed. If one walks down, say, Horse Guards Avenue or Derby Gate the question does spring to mind. The answer is, usually, “something deeply malevolent and expensive”. That doesn’t seem to be the case in, say, Malmesbury, although it may be equally difficult to discern anything productive happening.

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