from empire to umpire
Most interesting - the UK is still the only country batting at below its pre-COVID GDP, but is still doing better than France, Germany, Italy, and Japan overall.
If this is not a clear demonstration of the alpha/foundation the UK is presently squandering, on top of the value intangibles you describe (to which I would add the fact that the UK is, in a globally relative context, extremely politically stable, which may become more and more of an asset as the decades pass), I don't know what is.
Thanks for the piece!
Certainly absolute UK progress is not great. And the US has forged ahead since the GFC.
Yet, comparative data for Germany and France seems to paint a similar picture for GDP growth (as you’ve shown) and for discretionary income (see here - https://ronanmcgovern.com/are-we-too-negative-on-the-uk/)
Causes may vary, but the macro trends seem not to be uniquely a UK thing?
Is there other raw data that tells a different story?
Agree with all of this, but I think the lack of economic growth is just the UK being a typical Western European country, rather than an outlier. Which makes the situation worse, in a way - more difficult to overcome structural issues that affect everyone in your neighbourhood, rather than individual issues.
Though we should definitely be making it much, much easier to build stuff. Labour's rhetoric is good on this, but I'll only start to think they intend to actually act on it when they make concrete proposals for changing planning legislation.
"they also sped up the vaccination program after Astrazeneca vaccine came out. A prescient move that saved millions of lives"
Any evidence for this? Sounds bonkers
Again, really interesting point of view, Rohan. I have questions about any economic policy and know I’ll never win the debate with economists.
First, have you read E.F.Schumacher? Can economic growth really be controlled? In a living organism, uncontrolled growth is simply called cancer.
Second, here in the U.S., a lot of that increase in wealth has produced second homes, third homes, even fourth homes, 90% of which stay empty most of the year and drive up real estate prices for the rest of the population.
Is there a difference between greed and growth?
What policies would you suggest to address these challenges? Particularly around the capability to 'build'?
"It seems Britain is standing still while the rest of the world is sprinting ahead." Politano: "British GDP per capita remains ever so slightly below the pre-pandemic peak." I don't see that on the chart. The UK is slightly up, and looks to be doing about the same or slightly better than Italy and Germany. It depends on exactly which pre-pandemic date you pick.
That said, the UK is doing an even worse job with housing than in the USA. (I don't know enough about other European countries to compare.) I was in Dublin in August and pointed to a small, attached, old house asked the taxi driver what it would sell for. He said around a million Euros. Insane. That's probably cheap for London. The house I grew up in, which is in Bristol, is valued at an insane price for a modest semi-detached house. Restrictions on building are a massive problem.
It's also very unfortunate but almost inevitable that Britain would completely waste the opportunity opened up by Brexit. The country could have gone full free trade, massively cut the bureaucracy, and deregulated. Instead, you got Sunak, more centralization, more spending, and continuing of the disastrous "green" energy policies that are sinking Germany. As you note, one bright spot is that the UK is not following the rest of Europe into shooting themselves in the foot with AI.