Monday, December 15, 2008

innovation, provenance, nationalism and competition

recent debates on bail outs (banks, car companies, etc) has revealed an interesting mix of incomprehension and incredulity in the global eco-system we now inhabit.

lotsa people object to the US bailing out ford, chrylser and GM coz it is unfair competition by the US - on the other hand this sort of assumes a level playing field in the world - there isn't one because of lots and lots of reasons - choosing a few

1. initial conditions - different countries started with more or less advantage (lets mention the US stealing British IPR on becoming independent, basing the workforce on slavery, and government subsidy of research - all also true of the EU, the Arab states and China and India

2. appropriation of natural resources

3. economies of scale (e.g. internal market size)

Other examples will occur (supporters and detractors of Boeing and Airbus continually claim the other side started with massive government subsidy - this could apply all the way from grants to colelges to train aerospace students, up to government "buy or fly national only" policy...

and then there's the internet .. .. ... :)

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home