Saturday, September 16, 2023

European cities, housing crises, and too much tourism

'Far from the Madding Crowd' (1874: Thomas Hardy's novel)
Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi, Malaysia
Credit Michael Hennigan

William Whyte (1917-1999), a Fortune magazine editor, was the author of a famous 1956 book 'The Organization Man.' He argued that corporations and suburbs were turning the American middle class into timid conformists more interested in pleasing their colleagues and neighbours than in thinking or acting for themselves.

The book challenged claims of entrepreneurial vision and courage in business by describing the ongoing bureaucratisation of white-collar environments including board rooms, offices, and laboratories. Whyte also popularised the word “groupthink.”

His New York Times obituary noted "As an urbanologist he wrote, taught, planned and once spent 16 years watching and filming what people do on the streets of New York. He also conducted a study showing that a large percentage of companies that moved from New York City ended up in locations less than eight miles from the homes of their chief executives." Finfacts: Cognitive dissonance and the flawed American democracy

Sunday, September 03, 2023

Irish wealthiest in World in 2023! Brits ahead in GDP per capita

IMF April 2023: Ireland at $145,200 per capita; UK at $56,500; Irish adjusted $33,500

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) says that Ireland's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is the highest of 195 countries. This is based on Purchasing Power Parities (PPP).

"Not Pygmalion likely!" or better still the original "Walk! Not bloody likely" ("bloody" was a contemporary taboo) from the character of Eliza Doolittle in the 1914 'Pygmalion' play by the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950).

However, the gold at the end of the rainbow is an illusion.

In 2021, the US Treasury named Bermuda, the Caymans, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Switzerland, the top 7 corporate tax havens. Their share of US multinational corporations' foreign profits had risen from almost 30% in 2000 to over 60% in 2019.

Almost a quarter of a century ago, Ireland became the world's most profitable country for US corporations.

While American companies provide jobs, the distorted headline GDP results in high international rankings whether it's economic or social issues. It fools foreigners and is seldom corrected in Ireland.

The reality is that Ireland is in the second tier of Advanced Economies.