"Britain is doing better than
This fallacy usually implies that Britain's US-leaning, Thatcherite
legacy of monetarism, "flexible labour", union-busting
and other supposedly strict adherences to "market"
economics, has left Britain in a stronger position than European
countries such as Germany, France, Scandinavian countries,
The latter nations have a recent history of more "social"
(socialist in some cases) policies than Britain such
as relatively generous welfare schemes and regulation of working
hours, etc. If, as the fallacy asserts, these countries are
falling behind Britain, then this "proves" that
hard capitalism triumphs over remnants of soft socialism.
UK newspapers/magazines such as the Daily Telegraph, Times,
Economist, etc, often cite, as evidence, "higher
unemployment" or less "competitive"
industry in European countries. However, a closer scrutiny
of economic indicators reveals many European countries to
be out-performing Britain in many ways higher per capita
income, more generous welfare provision, etc. This is particularly
true of Scandinavian countries Sweden, Norway, Finland
which have in recent years topped most charts of not
only economic performance, but "quality of life"
For example, the Christian
Science Monitor ran a story in October 2005 asking
how Finland rated as one of the most successful and "competitive"
countries on the planet, whilst simultaneously funding a very
generous welfare system (which appears to go against all orthodox
"When full-time workers in Sweden lose a job, they
remain on full pay for a year. During that time, they are
eligible for retraining at government's expense. And if they
remain unemployed after a year, they may qualify for unemployment
compensation, equivalent to an average income, indefinitely".
More examples and detail to be provided
for this fallacy soon...