Saturday, August 6, 2011

Estonia vs. America...

As long-time blog readers know, I have visited little Estonia many times.  When I first visited in 1992, it was an economic wreck – only in its first year as an ex-Soviet satellite nation, and struggling with basic concepts of capitalism.  Over the years that I visited there (last time in 2004), the country adopted an enlightened tax policy, established the firm rule of law, and enacted legislation that created a very business-friendly environment.  Somehow, miraculously, they've also had a series of leaders that were not only not disastrous, but in some cases were downright visionary.

So it's interesting to look at how they fared in the recession of 2008:
In the midst of a world embroiled in economic turmoil, a few nations have managed to do surprisingly well—among them, Estonia. After near economic collapse during the 2008–2009 financial crisis, the country has managed to successfully bounce back with substantial GDP growth, a vibrant trade environment, and a notable budget surplus.
I'm not surprised, actually.

Here's a bet for you: Estonia will be amongst the first to opt out of the European Union.  The looming disaster there is going to look very ominous to one of the few high-performance economies in the EU – and given their tiny size, it's easy to predict that they'll be asked to shoulder a completely disproportionate share of the EU's miseries...

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