Ripples From the Zambezi
Historically economic development practice in the UK has focussed on trying to pick winners and on a centralised big bang philosophy. It hasn’t worked. It hasn’t worked in economic terms and it hasn’t worked in welfare terms. The richest areas in the UK in the 1950s are still the richest now, and the poorest areas continue to fall behind.
By contrast, in Esperance Western Australia, (a town of 14,000 people) one man has over a period of 11 years assisted in the creation of 410 new businesses. In the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy, with a population of around four million people, there is one business for every 11 people – and 90% of these employ less than 99 workers. The town of Carpi, with a population of 60,000, has 2,500 companies (with an average workforce of 5) generating $2 billion per year.
The most important aspect of all this is simple - it has happened without bloody revolution, without any so-called dictatorship of the proletariat. It has happened without anyone witing around for some millenarian conversion to the minimal state. They have just got on with it – a lesson that needs to be learnt by politicians of every ilk - by those of a ‘vulgar libertarian’ bent every bit as much as by the statists in the the Labour and Tory parties.
Ian provides a great Walt Anderson quote from the book:
To talk of political revolution as we have known it becomes irrelevant to our times. Nobody will have to overthrow the state; we will simply outgrow our need for many of its functions.