Business view
Tools
Typography

ECONOMIC progress is not inevitable. In developed countries we have generally come to expect continual improvement in our economy. We believe that our standard of living will increase over time, despite periodic booms and busts. Yet that is not always the case.

FOR the first half of the 20th Century Uruguay had a robust, vibrant economy. By 1950 their GDP per capita was about 60% of America's and their standard of living was much higher than Spain's. They had huge export businesses which funded advanced social welfare programs. Uruguay was called the Switzerland of South America. Today things are much different. By 2004 Uruguay had less than 20% of the GDP per capita of the US. Uruguay went through an entire generation of practically no growth. Finland should take note.

THE comparisons of Finland and Uruguay are not new. Back during the severe recession of the early 1990s some Finnish commentators worried that we could end up like them: a strong, growing country with a high standard of living falling on hard times. Then the comparison did not make sense, because Finland's depression was due to external shocks and the bursting of asset price bubbles. Now, however, the comparison is apt.

URUGUAY'S problems began when their export markets collapsed. The main political parties' goals were not improving the economy but protecting the status quo. The public sector grew in relative importance as free enterprise declined. State-owned enterprises and government bureaucracies expanded. Eventually the economic crisis turned into a political one, which just made everything worse.

...

David J. Cord
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Only a fraction of the articles are available to public, please subscribe to be able to read whole article on the digital paper.

Please check our subscription periods and prices from here.

Read Helsinki Times with a subscriber code
Helsinki Times's digital paper has moved to our partner's website, LEHTILUUKKU.FI

Helsinki Times can be read with a subscriber code provided by the publisher or subscription office.

If you have received a subscriber code from the Helsinki Times, you may attach it to your Lehtiluukku user account to gain free access to Helsinki Times. The same subscriber code is valid for iPad and iPhone Helsinki Times' application.

Also the Android App is downloadable from Google play.

ICP2

Finland in the world press

Helsinki Finland Blustery, 16 °C
Current Conditions
Sunrise: 7:13 am   |   Sunset: 7:9 pm
66%     11.2 m/s     35.151 bar
Forecast
Mon Low: 11 °C High: 17 °C
Tue Low: 11 °C High: 13 °C
Wed Low: 10 °C High: 14 °C
Thu Low: 10 °C High: 13 °C
Fri Low: 7 °C High: 12 °C
Sat Low: 8 °C High: 11 °C
Sun Low: 8 °C High: 11 °C
Mon Low: 7 °C High: 10 °C
Tue Low: 7 °C High: 10 °C
Wed Low: 7 °C High: 10 °C

Partners