Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Party like it's not 1707

Friederich Schiller had Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, say;
It is an ancient saying, that the Scots
   And England to each other are unjust;
   And hence the rightful custom that a Scot
   Against an Englishman, or Englishman
   Against a Scot, cannot be heard in judgment.
   Necessity prescribed this cautious law;
   Deep policy oft lies in ancient customs:
   My lord, we must respect them. Nature cast
   Into the ocean these two fiery nations
   Upon this plank, and she divided it
   Unequally, and bade them fight for it.
They are still at it, with tomorrow being the big day. One almost hopes the Ayes have it, just to see if it plays out the way independence did in the former Czechoslovakia. That was a battle between socialists and free marketeers too, and had interesting repercussions, says Cato's Marian Tupy;
The Czechoslovak federation was dissolved on January 31, 1993. In the Czech Republic, [Vaclev]Klaus introduced his far-reaching economic reforms. The Czech Republic pulled ahead and became one of the early post-communist success stories. Even better, the Czechs no longer had to feel that they were subsidizing their “younger [socialist] sibling.”
Slovakia, in contrast, suffered years of economic and political decline. [Former Communist Vladimir] Meciar’s style of government became increasingly authoritarian, leading the U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refer to Slovakia as the “black hole in the heart of Europe.” The Slovak economy remained unreformed. .... By 1998, when Meciar left office, Slovakia was near bankruptcy. 
And Slovakians grew up and voted for a change;
Following the change of government, Slovakia returned to a full-fledged democracy and embraced far-reaching economic reforms. The Slovaks partially privatized their pension system, introduced a flat income tax and reduced regulation. In recognition of those improvements, the World Bank’s “Doing Business in 2005” report declared Slovakia the world’s leading reformer and ranked it among the top 20 countries with the best business conditions. By 2006, the Slovak economy was growing at 10 percent per annum and Slovakia was the world’s largest exporter of cars per capita. 
The moral of the story;
Independence forced Slovaks to realize that they had no one to blame for their misfortunes but themselves.
Of course, Scots might blame those Polish lacquerers.

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