Now let\’s look at the economy. Initially, the challenge came from the United States and Germany, but after the second world war the UK was also eclipsed in terms of growth rates and living standards by France, Italy and the Scandinavian nations. More recently, the threat has come from the bigger emerging economies of India and China.
Warning signs of imminent decline have too often been ignored and even when they have been heeded, wrong lessons have been learned.
Who actually cares about relative decline? It\’s absolute levels that matter.
Relative decline comes from the way in which cuntries previously following insane Marxist prescriptions are now joining us in the sunlit uplands of classical liberalism (perhaps overstating things there but still….). This is good isn\’t it? Our fellow humans are gaining better lives: no, not at our expense at all, simply by stopping doing stupid things.
Indeed, we get richer precisely because they do so.
So where\’s the beef? Do I or you care that Britain is 5th, 7 th or 15th in the international league tables for standards of living? Or should we care that living standards are as good as we can make them? That is, we should care about absolute riches, not relative?