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Why The Yanks Are More Sucessful Than Us.

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Radio 4 yesterday reported on a prominent Tory MPs visit to Silicon Valley. We were told there is a lack of drive and ambition in the UK population which means we cant emulate American business success. They focused on Google, Microsoft, Myspace, Apple etc and pointed to the lack of top UK IT companies.

I disagree.

In the UK I am of the opinion that our apparent lack of success is deliberate, its because we are more in touch with the meaning of life and dont see the scrabble to the top (which they define in pure fiscal terms) as important as they do.

I think we are more inclined to surmise there is more to life than making yet another million / billion.

We are not as competitive because we see life in the round............... for example; sure US sprinters dominate but at what cost to thier social / family and emmotional well being? It isnt that great a thing to be the best sprinter when you consider the effort involved. Better to have a nice quiet life and know how to enjoy simple pleasures.

Am I wrong?

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Interesting, if off topic.

In my business, techie staff (like me) get large salaries, while most managers only get about 20-30% more, for having a much less enjoyable quality of life.

Consequently, I and many other techies have absolutely no desire to enter management - and even doubling managerial salaries wouldn't change my view all that much.

The problem with this is that we need many of these guys to do their crappy managerial jobs, and the firm is struggling to get people to move out of the techie roles into management.

Arguably, the more people like me take the easy life, the worse our industries will perform, until none of us have jobs.

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Am I wrong?

Yes. Some of the reasons that the UK is not successful are:

1. Brits are generally lazy fkkrs who most likely have never seen a hard days work

2. Brits generally like to moan about things rather than do anything about it

3. Instead of celebrating and learning from success, they prefer to do down anyone who is successful or has a go to be

4. The UK government is useless and is not driving the UK forward as a leading country in the future (I doubt they even have a plan to do so, compare this to US or China).

5. The tax/benefit system is bloated and geared towards benefitting those who sit around shooting kids out and collecting dole while charging those who earn a living more

6. Britain is being asset stripped. Profits from big business aren't being re-invested into the UK but are most likely siphoned off mostly tax free to the US to fund their pensions/growth

Edited by Charles_Darke

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Radio 4 yesterday reported on a prominent Tory MPs visit to Silicon Valley. We were told there is a lack of drive and ambition in the UK population which means we cant emulate American business success. They focused on Google, Microsoft, Myspace, Apple etc and pointed to the lack of top UK IT companies.

I disagree.

In the UK I am of the opinion that our apparent lack of success is deliberate, its because we are more in touch with the meaning of life and dont see the scrabble to the top (which they define in pure fiscal terms) as important as they do.

I think we are more inclined to surmise there is more to life than making yet another million / billion.

We are not as competitive because we see life in the round............... for example; sure US sprinters dominate but at what cost to thier social / family and emmotional well being? It isnt that great a thing to be the best sprinter when you consider the effort involved. Better to have a nice quiet life and know how to enjoy simple pleasures.

Am I wrong?

I wish you were wrong. I think we are becoming more "Americanised" in our aggressive approach to making money. I retired recently from the legal profession and found it to be a much uglier profession than it was when I was in full swing in the City of London in the 80's and early 90's. Now its all about billable hours, no vacations, working through lunch, weekends, and basically losing your enjoyment of life in the name of making a few more pounds for the equity partners. My attitude is to make enough to enjoy life and for me the extra 40k a year was not worth it in terms of quality of living. Not the kind of attitude that goes down well in today's legal world.

I understand that the UK now works longer hours than even our former colony. Stress and drugs are rampant in high pressure jobs. 28% rise in solicitors asking for help from the Law Society due to overwork and drinkl related problems. Many younger solicitors refusing partnerships because they do not want to lose their life to work.

My daughter works in the US for a big drug company. Her day is spent in a small cubicle looking at the grey walls during her break. The pay is good but what a way to spend your life!

No, its the simple life for me. I am now the CEO of my own investment company and apart from a little consulting here and there am able to enjoy life without the pressure of money bearing down every minute.

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He ranted on about technology media companies such as google, yahoo, etc. Truth is that the public sector funded BBC is a HUGE obstacle to such things here in the UK as they use their vast no risk funds to stick their nose in, and hence compete, with people who risk their own money setting up media type companies.

The BBC is a huge obstacle to a dynamic business culture here in the UK but then so is the public sector generally. Only yesterday I was talking to 3 small businesses about a public sector tender but all decided not to bid for the work as they all knew that the loop-holes put in place made it more hassle and more expense than it was worth. ISOBLAHBLAHBLAH.

Look at the issue of hosue packs now - some minister is on the TV today telling us that our homes are going to be rated now. More public sector expense bought about by public sector employees who have no use whatsoever.

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Citing the US as an example of what the UK should aspire to seems incongruous. :huh: The US is indebted as never before, is losing political influence, contributes more to global warming than any other country on Earth, has falling real incomes, falling productivity and imports 57% more than it exports. Politicians are simple folk driven by a lust for power, this lust seems to hinder their ability for deductive reasoning.

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Citing the US as an example of what the UK should aspire to seems incongruous. :huh: The US is indebted as never before, is losing political influence, contributes more to global warming than any other country on Earth, has falling real incomes, falling productivity and imports 57% more than it exports. Politicians are simple folk driven by a lust for power, this lust seems to hinder their ability for deductive reasoning.

Apart from the "Global Warming" issue I think much the same is true of the UK. Everything I pick up in the shops these days says made in China! Gordon is certainly a lustful man and his brand of politics is certainly not deductive but it is certainly miraculous if you believe its working.

The new King of Global Warming is likely to be China. All that unfiltered waste going into the air and into the streams and rivers. Their demand for cars is growing exponentially and I doubt whether anyone is going to care if they are SLEV or not.

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Apart from the "Global Warming" issue I think much the same is true of the UK. Everything I pick up in the shops these days says made in China! Gordon is certainly a lustful man and his brand of politics is certainly not deductive but it is certainly miraculous if you believe its working.

The new King of Global Warming is likely to be China. All that unfiltered waste going into the air and into the streams and rivers. Their demand for cars is growing exponentially and I doubt whether anyone is going to care if they are SLEV or not.

An American solution to an American problem.

Torch my ride.

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Agreed - I've always taken a laid back more holistic view of life and have no desire to get into management/debt/stress just to show others I'm 'successful' -the definition of which is a matter of opinion. Many people I have the most respect and love for in my life have little materially.

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Radio 4 yesterday reported on a prominent Tory MPs visit to Silicon Valley. We were told there is a lack of drive and ambition in the UK population which means we cant emulate American business success. They focused on Google, Microsoft, Myspace, Apple etc and pointed to the lack of top UK IT companies.

I disagree.

In the UK I am of the opinion that our apparent lack of success is deliberate, its because we are more in touch with the meaning of life and dont see the scrabble to the top (which they define in pure fiscal terms) as important as they do.

I think we are more inclined to surmise there is more to life than making yet another million / billion.

We are not as competitive because we see life in the round............... for example; sure US sprinters dominate but at what cost to thier social / family and emmotional well being? It isnt that great a thing to be the best sprinter when you consider the effort involved. Better to have a nice quiet life and know how to enjoy simple pleasures.

Am I wrong?

I think it is because a large proportion of the population are under-educated slackers who think that the taxpaying public owes them a living. :angry:

Edited by Scooter

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Again the thrust of the piece on Radio 4 was that the reason UK doesnt come up with a Google or Apple is lack of drive and ambition. They went on to report thier is a lack of appetite to invest in new venture's.

I think its far deeper than this simplistic analysis. I meet reasonably comfortable Brits who are happy with thier lot. They dont want an even bigger home or a big boat. I find Americans tend to be more likely to want more than they already have so are prepared to take bigger risks / abandon family life without really thinking about what life is all about.

On my death bed I will be happy to know I gave as much of my time as I could directly to my children as long as we were financialy comfortable. Spending every hour in work doent make sense to any thinking being as the ultimate outcome of all the extra hours is simply 'stuff' made of atoms.

Im all for hard (ish) work and making yourself comfortable, but Im also glad I am prepared to forgoe some material stuff / money in return for a high quality of life and being able to take time to watch the world.

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Again the thrust of the piece on Radio 4 was that the reason UK doesnt come up with a Google or Apple is lack of drive and ambition. They went on to report thier is a lack of appetite to invest in new venture's.

I think its far deeper than this simplistic analysis. I meet reasonably comfortable Brits who are happy with thier lot. They dont want an even bigger home or a big boat. I find Americans tend to be more likely to want more than they already have so are prepared to take bigger risks / abandon family life without really thinking about what life is all about.

On my death bed I will be happy to know I gave as much of my time as I could directly to my children as long as we were financialy comfortable. Spending every hour in work doent make sense to any thinking being as the ultimate outcome of all the extra hours is simply 'stuff' made of atoms.

Im all for hard (ish) work and making yourself comfortable, but Im also glad I am prepared to forgoe some material stuff / money in return for a high quality of life and being able to take time to watch the world.

But put yourself in the position of a young couple nowadays. Property prices are going to mean a millstone of debt and jumping through hoops to keep their jobs all their lives.

The life you portray is great - if you can afford it. Many young people never will.

One of my nieces has just bought a 40% share of a 1 bedroom flat. It is all she can afford.

Another thing is the difficulty of raising capital for new ventures. Angel investors (like the tosspots on Dragon's Den) will only invest in something if the person whose idea it is has already proved it works, has a client base etc - i.e. they will only fund expansion - not research and development.

And, even then, the greedy b@stards want 50% of businesses for paltry sums.

If you went to anyone in this country and said 'I've got a great idea, I'm going to blow Yahoo and all the others out of the search engine water by creating a free, easy to use, uncluttered by adverts search engine and then, in a few years time, after serious investment in hardware etc to run it, I am going to implement a really canny way of deriving income from advertising ....'

You'd be lucky not to get kicked down the stairs in this country.

Edited by Marina

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3. Instead of celebrating and learning from success, they prefer to do down anyone who is successful or has a go to be

What is sucess?

Take Madona that crazed hungry meglamaniac; My English mind tells me she has more than enough and that I would respect her if she now turned all that energy and hunger into charitable / selflses endeavour, but oh no, she wants ever more fame and gain, but for what? What does it all mean and how does it benefit anyone in any meaningful way?

Why would I celebrate someone like this who is a self obsessed meglamaniac?

So this brand of sucess worshipped by Americans is hollow and in the great scheme of life meaningless.

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But put yourself in the position of a young couple nowadays. Property prices are going to mean a millstone of debt and jumping through hoops to keep their jobs all their lives.

The life you portray is great - if you can afford it. Many young people never will.

One of my nieces has just bought a 40% share of a 1 bedroom flat. It is all she can afford.

Another thing is the difficulty of raising capital for new ventures. Angel investors (like the tosspots on Dragon's Den) will only invest in something if the person whose idea it is has already proved it works, has a client base etc - i.e. they will only fund expansion - not research and development.

And, even then, the greedy b@stards want 50% of businesses for paltry sums.

If you went to anyone in this country and said 'I've got a great idea, I'm going to blow Yahoo and all the others out of the search engine water by creating a free, easy to use, uncluttered by adverts search engine and then, in a few years time, after serious investment in hardware etc to run it, I am going to implement a really canny way of deriving income from advertising ....'

You'd be lucky not to get kicked down the stairs in this country.

But the point is many UK investors would be happy with a few million in the Bank and then just enjoy life or only invest in a real goer, whereas the American wouldnt be happy with a few million, he will lust for more knowing no limit (again I generalise, there are of course exceptions).

Of course I generalise, but my general point is that Brits are'nt so bewildered by monetary gain in excess to the degree Americans are.

So I conclude the reason US business is more sucesful is this lust for personal gain which we simply dont have to the same degree accross the broad population.

But, I would say our way of life is far preferable to one in which work is everything. They can keep Google, we'll keep David Attenborough

Edited by dogbox

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But the point is many UK investors would be happy with a few million in the Bank and then just enjoy life or only invest in a real goer, whereas the American wouldnt be happy with a few million, he will lust for more knowing no limit (again I generalise, there are of course exceptions).

Of course I generalise, but my general point is that Brits are'nt so bewildered by monetary gain in excess to the degree Americans are.

So I conclude the reason US business is more sucesful is this lust for personal gain which we simply dont have to the same degree accross the broad population.

But, I would say our way of life is far preferable to one in which work is everything. They can keep Google, we'll keep David Attenborough

I used to agree with you, but i think we've changed. I think we may have surpassed the Americans with our obsession with financial gain, mortgages, the value of our house/ investment portfolios, cost of our rent, easy money. Keeping up with Jones' has never been such a preoccupation. It's rare that I hear conversations on any spiritual subjects. Time for the youth to revolt again I think.

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Radio 4 yesterday reported on a prominent Tory MPs visit to Silicon Valley. We were told there is a lack of drive and ambition in the UK population which means we cant emulate American business success. They focused on Google, Microsoft, Myspace, Apple etc and pointed to the lack of top UK IT companies.

I disagree.

In the UK I am of the opinion that our apparent lack of success is deliberate, its because we are more in touch with the meaning of life and dont see the scrabble to the top (which they define in pure fiscal terms) as important as they do.

I think we are more inclined to surmise there is more to life than making yet another million / billion.

We are not as competitive because we see life in the round............... for example; sure US sprinters dominate but at what cost to thier social / family and emmotional well being? It isnt that great a thing to be the best sprinter when you consider the effort involved. Better to have a nice quiet life and know how to enjoy simple pleasures.

Am I wrong?

From what I have seen working the same job in both countries people are more motivated in the US than here. Part of that motivation comes from the fact that you can actually quickly do well in the US and it is very hard to ever do well in the UK. By do well I mean have a nice house, good job and respect, vacations, education, opportunity etc. In my opinion the UK is more pure money obsessesd that the US right now. Part of that is because in most of the US an average blue collar worker can still afford a 4 bed house for him and his family.

I think there is a much great divide between management and staff in the UK than the US and the class system still impacts everything. For example when my company rolled stock options out worldwide the UK management kept options to themselves whereas other countries filtered them down. In my compnay now salesmen get a much great share of the profits than in the UK. This is why the UK divide between rich and poor is getting so big.

Other things helping workers be motivated in the US are lower taxes and a more friendly enviroment to small businesess. Of course we also have the ridiculous benefits system here which totally discourages a whole class of people from even working.................

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From what I have seen working the same job in both countries people are more motivated in the US than here. Part of that motivation comes from the fact that you can actually quickly do well in the US and it is very hard to ever do well in the UK. By do well I mean have a nice house, good job and respect, vacations, education, opportunity etc. In my opinion the UK is more pure money obsessesd that the US right now. Part of that is because in most of the US an average blue collar worker can still afford a 4 bed house for him and his family.

I think there is a much great divide between management and staff in the UK than the US and the class system still impacts everything. For example when my company rolled stock options out worldwide the UK management kept options to themselves whereas other countries filtered them down. In my compnay now salesmen get a much great share of the profits than in the UK. This is why the UK divide between rich and poor is getting so big.

Other things helping workers be motivated in the US are lower taxes and a more friendly enviroment to small businesess. Of course we also have the ridiculous benefits system here which totally discourages a whole class of people from even working.................

Having lived in the US for the last couple of years I've come to a rather different conclusion.

It is extremely unlikely you will get a decent education (good school, college degree, graduate degree etc) unless your parents are rich. The other things: good job, respect, vacations come with a decent education. The federal minimum wage is currently $5.15 an hour (£2.78). Median wages have been falling for 4 or 5 years even as corporate profits rise.

I believe the gap between rich and poor in the US is now the third largest in the world, after Russia and Mexico. Interestingly, I believe in 1960 the gap between rich and poor in the US was one of the smallest in the world. I think the US way of life really did have something special about it back then, but this has long been eroded away by years of trickle down Reaganomics.

The class system is alive and well in the US, it merely takes a different form from that in the UK. For example I was surprised to find that the Boston accent, which I find quite charming, is considered to be working class and aspiring yuppies try to adopt a more neutral midwest accent.

The class system is maintained by allowing the wealthy to bestow their riches and privilege on their children and barricade themselves off from the rest of society. For example, the inheritance tax thresholds are in the millions of dollars. Local towns get to set their own education budgets, so rich neighbourhoods have amazingly good schools and poor neighbourhoods struggle to find the money. Kids have healthcare depending on their parents' job. Millions of blue collar workers still have no health insurance. When children have such a skewed start in life, I fail to see how it can still be called the "land of opportunity".

Taxes are a bit lower than the UK overall (depending on your circumstances) but let's not get carried away, the US is not a low-tax country. For example, as a percentage, the tax take from my paycheck went *up* when I moved to the US! Maybe it's something to do with the huge amount of military spending?

On the good side, American business practices are very streamlined and efficient and the attitude to investment is very healthy. Business productivity is good. Some things are cheap, but not everything by any means.

frugalista

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From what I have seen working the same job in both countries people are more motivated in the US than here. Part of that motivation comes from the fact that you can actually quickly do well in the US and it is very hard to ever do well in the UK. By do well I mean have a nice house, good job and respect, vacations, education, opportunity etc. In my opinion the UK is more pure money obsessesd that the US right now. Part of that is because in most of the US an average blue collar worker can still afford a 4 bed house for him and his family.

Exactly. The US is not all work, work, work; rather, productivity, productivity, productivity.

Colleagues/acquaintances in the US (academic) have "get up and go" for positive reasons rather than "I want a big car" reasons. There if you work you can get a greater output (papers, books etc).

I am not a complete workaholic, I am busy but I do manage to see friends and family a lot. I would not to work in a European, "let's down tools at 5.00pm on the dot" culture, where the employer is seen as a slave-driver. A strong economy should enable people to use their time effectively.

If UK firms don't adequately reward their employees then in the long run that's their problem.

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Just a few facts..

The UK is simply less productive.. A good starting point would be to read the following.

Point 1 (for the xenophobes especially)

"If British productivity were as high as American, many (indeed most) of Britain’s domestic economic problems would disappear."

Point 2

For the total economy in 2002, labour productivity on this basis was nearly 30

per cent higher in the United States, a substantial lead which has been noted in

countless studies. Note, however, that labour productivity was also 27.5 per cent

higher in Germany and slightly more than 30 per cent higher in France. (Higher on both hourly and per worker basis)

Point 3

This contrast between Britain and Germany reflected the German strategy of

maintaining comparative advantage in flexible production with skilled labour

intensive methods, compared with the British strategy of the adoption of American

technology, with a focus on unskilled or semi-skilled labour. This erosion of labour

force skills in Britain was to have serious consequences with the revival of flexible

production methods from the 1970s.

By 1978/79, when data on the stock of qualified

labour in both countries first became available, the proportion of the labour force with

at least intermediate level qualifications was 65.5. per cent in Germany, compared

16 with just 28.6 per cent in Britain (O’Mahony, 1999: 28).

Point 4 (fomatting - sorry no time)

TABLE 2: Comparative labour productivity levels by sector: output per hour

worked (UK=100)

1990 1995 2000 2001

United States

Agriculture 162.3 137.8 193.0 187.4

Industry 151.9 133.2 134.9 130.3

Market services1 149.9 136.3 137.2 139.0

Market Economy2 148.8 134.0 137.4 136.9

Germany*

Agriculture 37.4 39.6 46.2 46.9

Industry 138.1 115.0 113.5 113.8

Market services1 145.5 141.1 132.8 131.1

Market Economy2 138.0 127.7 124.7 124.1

France

Agriculture 61.0 71.5 78.8 78.0

Industry 133.9 120.1 121.0 119.9

Market services1 169.8 145.8 128.2 126.2

Market Economy2 142.6 129.3 122.1 120.7

* Unified Germany

Notes: 1. Includes transport, communications, wholesale and

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economic...y/wp/niesr9.pdf

Edited by Wuluf

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The UK is simply less productive.

True.

In fact, the UK is less productive than almost any other industrialized country, including many of those European social democratic nations so disdained by free-marketeers.

frugalista

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Radio 4 yesterday reported on a prominent Tory MPs visit to Silicon Valley. We were told there is a lack of drive and ambition in the UK population which means we cant emulate American business success. They focused on Google, Microsoft, Myspace, Apple etc and pointed to the lack of top UK IT companies.

I disagree.

In the UK I am of the opinion that our apparent lack of success is deliberate, its because we are more in touch with the meaning of life and dont see the scrabble to the top (which they define in pure fiscal terms) as important as they do.

I think we are more inclined to surmise there is more to life than making yet another million / billion.

We are not as competitive because we see life in the round............... for example; sure US sprinters dominate but at what cost to thier social / family and emmotional well being? It isnt that great a thing to be the best sprinter when you consider the effort involved. Better to have a nice quiet life and know how to enjoy simple pleasures.

Am I wrong?

Yes, you are wrong. The problem started in the Empire days. Back then, those with 'get up and go' got up and left. The process continued with the 'brain drain'. This process has left the UK with an unhealthy proportion 'apron string clingers'...a hopeless whinging bunch. They are now so dependent on 'nanny state' that they would rather take it up the 'you know what' than rock the boat.

The UK should welcome the immigrants they are the medicine the country needs.

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I seem to remember reading the UK productivity has risen to a level equal with Germany, but don't have the time to check this.

I'd be interested to see what productivity would like with out the public sector included. NHS productivity has slumped, for example.

Of course, the dumbing-down of the UK education system, the "all shall have prizes" attitudes, and the pernicious influence of welfarism have screwed things up a huge amount, no question. Unlike the US and Europe we let an assortment of pot-smoking head-in-the-clouds muppets and out-and-out communists run our education sector. Plus jamais.

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I seem to remember reading the UK productivity has risen to a level equal with Germany, but don't have the time to check this.

I'd be interested to see what productivity would like with out the public sector included. NHS productivity has slumped, for example.

Of course, the dumbing-down of the UK education system, the "all shall have prizes" attitudes, and the pernicious influence of welfarism have screwed things up a huge amount, no question. Unlike the US and Europe we let an assortment of pot-smoking head-in-the-clouds muppets and out-and-out communists run our education sector. Plus jamais.

If you look at the above study it shows that the UK has had a productivity deficit since the 1950's

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Yes. Some of the reasons that the UK is not successful are:

1. Brits are generally lazy fkkrs who most likely have never seen a hard days work

2. Brits generally like to moan about things rather than do anything about it

3. Instead of celebrating and learning from success, they prefer to do down anyone who is successful or has a go to be

4. The UK government is useless and is not driving the UK forward as a leading country in the future (I doubt they even have a plan to do so, compare this to US or China).

5. The tax/benefit system is bloated and geared towards benefitting those who sit around shooting kids out and collecting dole while charging those who earn a living more

6. Britain is being asset stripped. Profits from big business aren't being re-invested into the UK but are most likely siphoned off mostly tax free to the US to fund their pensions/growth

there are several international airports in the London area alone, you know

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  • 336 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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