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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 4 of Paul Krugman’s important March/April 1994 Foreign Affairs article, “Competitiveness: A Dangerous Obsession [2],” as it is reprinted in Krugman’s outstanding 1996 collection, Pop Internationalism [3]:

After all, the rhetoric of competitiveness, the view that, in the words of President Clinton, each nation is “like a big corporation competing in the global marketplace”, has become pervasive among opinion leaders throughout the world. People who believe themselves to be sophisticated about the subject take it for granted that the economic problem facing any modern nation is essentially one of competing on world markets, that the United States and Japan are competitors in the same sense that Coca-Cola competes with Pepsi, and are unaware that anyone might seriously question that proposition.

DBx: But, of course, seriously question that proposition most economists do. The proposition that countries are very much like companies in economic competition with each other is a purée of fallacies both large and small. Reading Krugman’s article, linked above, is a very good place to start in order to understand the wrongheadedness of the ‘competitiveness’ notion.

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