Oskar vs. Tony

William S. Lear rael at zopyra.com
Wed Mar 3 21:35:03 PST 1999

On Wednesday, March 3, 1999 at 17:25:39 (-0500) Carl Remick writes:
>Lafontaine Rejects 'Free Enterprise' Call
>By George Jones, Political Editor
>Tony Blair's call for Europe to adopt the American culture of free
>enterprise and de-regulation was rejected yesterday by Oskar Lafontaine,
>the German Finance Minister.

This is funny. William Lazonick has demonstrated (to my satisfaction) that the British economy tends to be less "organization-oriented", and more laissez faire than the US economy, which in turn is similarly situated in relation to Japan. As Lazonick points out:

In historical perspective, compared with Britain the American

corporate system has been over the course of the twentieth

century far more organization-oriented, particularly in terms of

its relations with managerial personnel and its control over

financial resources for industrial development. ... This

organization orientation --- manifested in what has been called

"the managerial revolution in American business" [Alfred

Chandler] --- is, moreover, a prime reason why US enterprises and

the US economy have persistently outperformed their British

counterparts during this century. ("The Anglo-Saxon Corporate

System", in *The Corporate Triangle*, pp. 3-4.)

Of course Blair and Lafontaine's little pirouette is merely show. They both know that "free enterprise" is just a crude word for class warfare. Lafontaine is slightly less free to practice it than Blair is, hence the posture.


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