Why is Britain richer than other countries? Watch

tehFrance
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#61
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#61
(Original post by Rakas21)
Yes but from experience you can cover the essentials on 1k per month outside the south east, everything after is for stuff that most Nigerians would consider luxuries in their own countries.

My point is that we in the west have so many luxuries that we don't even veiw as luxuries. How many people in Nigeria own washing machines and tumble driers, how many have multiple tvs or computer devices.

As much as people whine in Britain I've grown up in a family on benefits and yet have had a standard of living higher than 75% of the worlds population.

How many countries have functional welfare states that can give the disabled a TV and computer for the entirety of their lives along with a warm home.

People in Britain really don't know how good they have it.
I suppose that's true but what you say about benefits alarms me, you get free electronics on benefits, disgraceful

Makes me glad that I don't pay high amounts of tax :smug:
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CryptoidAlien
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#62
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(Original post by harry_007)
Colonialism.
How does Colonization make a country 1st world. If that's right then Africa should be first world as it has all the resources and had billions poured into it over years. That's a piss poor excuse.

Britain is rich because of hard work. End of discussion.

The middle east has a history of colonialism yet it's poor as hell.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by tehFrance)
I suppose that's true but what you say about benefits alarms me, you get free electronics on benefits, disgraceful

Makes me glad that I don't pay high amounts of tax :smug:
You don't get them free anymore but you do get enough to buy stuff. In my parents house right now are 4 tvs, 1 PC, 1 laptop, 4 tablets, a ps3 and a wii and the white goods I referred to. That's all from the state for 2 people on disability and child benefit.
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felamaslen
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(Original post by CryptoidAlien)
How does Colonization make a country 1st world. If that's right then Africa should be first world as it has all the resources and had billions poured into it over years. That's a piss poor excuse.

Britain is rich because of hard work. End of discussion.

The middle east has a history of colonialism yet it's poor as hell.
It's not just because of hard work. It is also because of a philosophy which has historically valued people's hard work. People in the Soviet Union didn't work any less hard than people in Britain. Trouble is, all of their productivity was siphoned off into the politburo.

But yeah, I agree with the general point. Colonies on their own do not produce wealth; they are more a symbol of wealth and power (think of India; it cost Britain loads to maintain that, and if they'd given it away for free trade after the 1850s rebellion I doubt they would have been much if any worse off - apart from once the world wars started, unless India fought on Britain's side as an independent ally, which would have been preferable and by no means unthinkable).
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CryptoidAlien
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(Original post by felamaslen)
It's not just because of hard work. It is also because of a philosophy which has historically valued people's hard work. People in the Soviet Union didn't work any less hard than people in Britain. Trouble is, all of their productivity was siphoned off into the politburo.

But yeah, I agree with the general point. Colonies on their own do not produce wealth; they are more a symbol of wealth and power (think of India; it cost Britain loads to maintain that, and if they'd given it away for free trade after the 1850s rebellion I doubt they would have been much if any worse off - apart from once the world wars started, unless India fought on Britain's side as an independent ally, which would have been preferable and by no means unthinkable).
It's also whats in peoples hearts. We may be talking about wealth, but we should also say why they're more peaceful and law abiding then other nations...
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studos
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British people may get more money in their pockets, but everything is way more expensive than other countries, so you have to think again if you think UK people are rich

also, USA's economic boost, drifted UK, since these countries have many links, and common language, so UK for many is considered a USA link in Europe
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Rakas21
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(Original post by felamaslen)
It's not just because of hard work. It is also because of a philosophy which has historically valued people's hard work. People in the Soviet Union didn't work any less hard than people in Britain. Trouble is, all of their productivity was siphoned off into the politburo.

But yeah, I agree with the general point. Colonies on their own do not produce wealth; they are more a symbol of wealth and power (think of India; it cost Britain loads to maintain that, and if they'd given it away for free trade after the 1850s rebellion I doubt they would have been much if any worse off - apart from once the world wars started, unless India fought on Britain's side as an independent ally, which would have been preferable and by no means unthinkable).
The thing with hard work is that you have to tie it to property rights. By having a state which protects your right to property in random with patent law you encourage people to innovate and reap the rewards of their creation.

With regards to the empire I expect that a numerical analysis would find that colonies near coasts were profitable, those with mass lands and populations to manage probably went. If wed landed in India and Africa and taken everywhere within 100m of the coast then left the rest to it wed have probably reaped large gains. Probably missed a trick by not invading Madagascar in hindsight as well.
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felamaslen
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(Original post by hslakaal)
2. .... UK never suffered any major damage in either wars in terms of infrastructure or industry during the war.
Britain was heavily bombed in WWII.

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That's obviously a symbol of the damage, in that it is a picture of a bombed out cathedral and nothing more, but nevertheless the damage in places like the east end of London was substantial.

Britain only paid back its debts to the USA from all of this fighting in 2006. In fact, Britain's entire position in the world was utterly changed by the financial loss that WWII incurred.
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durdledoor
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#69
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Many reasons behind this, here's a few possible ones:

1) Stable governance - very important in making a country rich. Britain hasn't had a revolution in 400 years meaning that people from around the world could trust that investment in Britain was secure and that money from Britain's banks was stable. It also gave people confidence within the UK to innovate, create industry and jobs.

2) Industrialisation - The Industrial Revolution occurred first in Britain so it was the first country in the world to industrialise. This meant that the island became a centre for manufacturing and was at the forefront of mechanisation. It could sell its goods across the world and through its empire.

3) Empire - Britain was an outward looking country and took empire very seriously. It built up the biggest Navy in the world to protect its markets. It also had sources of cheap commodities (the colonies) to give its manufacturers at home a competitive advantage. In the early 20th century Tariff Reform was put forward by the Conservatives which proposed taxing goods from outside the Empire. This shows just how powerful Britain was and why it became so rich because of it.

4) Entrepreneurship - Britain became a centre for science, engineering and technology, drawing the best minds from all over the world into world class Universities (Oxford, Cambridge, London etc.) this in turn gave the country a competitive advantage and produced wealth.

Hope these reasons help, these were the main reasons Britain became rich and most of them are still true today with the notable exception of Empire. Britain relies heavily on the Service industry and Finance now which gives it the sixth largest economy in the world - the country has good trading links with several European Union countries (11.5% of its exports to Germany, 8.9% to the Netherlands, 7.4% to France..etc) and to the United States (10.6% of exports)
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felamaslen
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(Original post by Rakas21)
The thing with hard work is that you have to tie it to property rights. By having a state which protects your right to property in random with patent law you encourage people to innovate and reap the rewards of their creation.

With regards to the empire I expect that a numerical analysis would find that colonies near coasts were profitable, those with mass lands and populations to manage probably went. If wed landed in India and Africa and taken everywhere within 100m of the coast then left the rest to it wed have probably reaped large gains. Probably missed a trick by not invading Madagascar in hindsight as well.
Agreed on the private property part; any casual glance today at the countries which protect private property will reveal that it is necessary for a vibrant economy to develop.

Hmm... so you do think the New Imperialism was more about power and prestige than actually making profits? I suspect that people such as Cecil Rhodes did do well financially out of it (e.g. by founding De Beers), but that the population as a whole did not. I think history would have been much more peaceful if the cultural hegemony of the West was not imposed by polities, but rather spread by free exchange of ideas. I'm not sure how feasible that would have been, but it seems to be what Adam Smith recommended (he was against colonialism).
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felamaslen
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(Original post by CryptoidAlien)
It's also whats in peoples hearts. We may be talking about wealth, but we should also say why they're more peaceful and law abiding then other nations...
People become law abiding when their laws make sense. When the laws cease to make sense, the institution which we call the law and judiciary loses value as a currency. People naturally lose respect for society when society does not respect their fundamental values as human beings. Hence Communism produces lawless, poverty-wrecked societies.
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uberteknik
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Liberal democracy starting with the Magna Carta and evolving (violently and bloodily) into a constitutional law which is both adopted and emulated across the western world. This systematcally eliminated the ability of the ruling elite to squander the wealth of the country. Instead, re-distribute it in the form of education, social welfare and infrastructure whilst retaining the best in entrepreneurial free-trade practices. Fraternité, egalité, equalité to borrow form the French.

A culture of stoicism in the face of adversity and a fierce determination that 'stays calm and carries on'. The ability to rapidly adapt to and indeed embrace change - retaining the best and eschewing the failed. (Indeed, I suggest it is the very inability to rapidly adapt which will utimately be the Achilles-heel for the emerging eastern economies of China and India.)

A state and culture which promotes freedom of expression, the freedom of individual choice and the celebration of innovation.

A state in which the framework of democratic law, trade and innovation continues evolving and is unencumbered by religious dogma.
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Verst
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#73
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(Original post by Dr Alcoholic)
Stable governments?

Up until the Acts of union 1707, the uk was at war with itself over power of the land from since before the roman empire. Even after the act of union it took a few decades to make it stable.

Stable government, attendant peaceful environment? Whoever taught you history of the UK needs to give you you're money back.
Well it's the tax payer who needs refunding.

I don't know of a nation state in Europe that has been subject to less intrigue, revolution or civil war - at least not one that has a comparable economic base. Certainly not France, Spain, Russia or modern day Germany. Compared to the convulsions these states have gone through, pre 1707 Britain is a pastoral idyll.

Of course there will always be feudal feuding, and Britain didn't entirely escape civil war (to put it mildly) but the history of Britain is not characterised by revolution and civil war like some of its neighbours (including one to its west).

As for stable economic conditions - well there were reasons why the British workers didn't participate in the revolutions of 1848. Not least of which was that our governments have tended to adopt programmes of gradual reform -again in contrast to the rigid reaction of European monarchs (most of whom, incidentally, do not have a lineage dating back as far back as the C11).

I'll get my refund on the uk history and perhaps I can send it to you - you could put it to good use on a European history course.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by felamaslen)
Agreed on the private property part; any casual glance today at the countries which protect private property will reveal that it is necessary for a vibrant economy to develop.

Hmm... so you do think the New Imperialism was more about power and prestige than actually making profits? I suspect that people such as Cecil Rhodes did do well financially out of it (e.g. by founding De Beers), but that the population as a whole did not. I think history would have been much more peaceful if the cultural hegemony of the West was not imposed by polities, but rather spread by free exchange of ideas. I'm not sure how feasible that would have been, but it seems to be what Adam Smith recommended (he was against colonialism).
I think there was a logical assumption that the more land you take, the more available resources you can access. What we know today is that we occupied many areas with resources we had no need for at the time and with large, poor populations who were of little benefit to us.

Politically the empire definitely became a tool for power. Had we allowed Spain or France to have an empire and stayed in good ol blighty we would have been invaded. War was a big factor in the empire before 1850.

The country as a whole benefitted but only indirectly via new available products and the jobs empire created. Glasgow and Liverpool were before WW1 some of the wealthiest cities in the world due to the empire.

Was never going to happen. Despite 5000 years of civilization we are more than happy to rape resources, go to war and watch half our population starve while at the same time reducing the tiny amount of foreign aid we give them. By being primitive, the original peoples of Australia, Africa and the Americas ensured that they would be conquered.
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felamaslen
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I think there was a logical assumption that the more land you take, the more available resources you can access. What we know today is that we occupied many areas with resources we had no need for at the time and with large, poor populations who were of little benefit to us.

Politically the empire definitely became a tool for power. Had we allowed Spain or France to have an empire and stayed in good ol blighty we would have been invaded. War was a big factor in the empire before 1850.

The country as a whole benefitted but only indirectly via new available products and the jobs empire created. Glasgow and Liverpool were before WW1 some of the wealthiest cities in the world due to the empire.

Was never going to happen. Despite 5000 years of civilization we are more than happy to rape resources, go to war and watch half our population starve while at the same time reducing the tiny amount of foreign aid we give them. By being primitive, the original peoples of Australia, Africa and the Americas ensured that they would be conquered.
I wasn't pretending that the last part would have happened in the universe we happen to live in, just that if it could have happened it would have been preferable. Then again, many impossible things would be preferable!
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Rakas21
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(Original post by felamaslen)
I wasn't pretending that the last part would have happened in the universe we happen to live in, just that if it could have happened it would have been preferable. Then again, many impossible things would be preferable!
Hard to say really. Without imperial driven expansion we may not have the links we do with the Anglosphere. That would arguably be a great loss.
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felamaslen
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Hard to say really. Without imperial driven expansion we may not have the links we do with the Anglosphere. That would arguably be a great loss.
I agree entirely with that (see my debate a few days ago with Ggmu - starting here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...8&postcount=65), but many atrocities were also carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries (such as mass killings of native Americans, and Australians too).
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Rakas21
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(Original post by felamaslen)
I agree entirely with that (see my debate a few days ago with Ggmu - starting here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...8&postcount=65), but many atrocities were also carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries (such as mass killings of native Americans, and Australians too).
Humans by virtue of imagination will always have people who dream of utopia (granted my utopia is very different to a communists) but it's hard to judge what might have been. I personally value the Anglosphere and power highly (indeed if i vote to leave the EU it will be to further ties with the Anglosphere) so i would say that the genocide of a few primitives was worth it considering that Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA account for a GDP of ~$21tn and per capita wealth around 4 times the global average. In that sense we spread prosperity.
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tehFrance
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Hard to say really. Without imperial driven expansion we may not have the links we do with the Anglosphere. That would arguably be a great loss.
The Anglosphere that was created from the empire? Yes, a great loss it would be considering it didn't exist pre-empire and wouldn't be there to have links to in this day and age without the empire
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Rakas21
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(Original post by tehFrance)
The Anglosphere that was created from the empire? Yes, a great loss it would be considering it didn't exist pre-empire and wouldn't be there to have links to in this day and age without the empire
Bad wording but yeah, exactly my point.
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