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Just to say, as Colman does, that the discussion here (not for the first time) was a meta-discussion about terminology. I don't think anyone here believes that the US and UK economies are the same, or could meaningfully be twinned into a single "model".

The point is that these terms are widely used and keep coming up. An example, DowneastDem put up a diary while we were discussing the term "Anglo-Saxon", pointing us towards a think-tank study that uses the Scandinavian model, the Continental model, and the Anglo-Saxon model as terms of reference. (No criticism is meant here of either DowneastDem or the study). I'm simply saying that the terms are often used.

It's a question of representation, then of perception. Experts, scholars, think-tankers, pundits, invent these constructs to simplify their discourse, no doubt also the better to sell it to the media. The journalists pick the constructs up and pass them on. People's perception is modified by them. Conventional wisdom is formed. Since we live in democracy, that is ultimately a political process. It's against that CW-forming process that we have been protesting here.

I think all talk of models should be dropped. However, if we went all the way along the lines you suggest, we would only recognize countries as economic units. It's true that our countries, over their one-two-three centuries of existence as modern states, have developed idiosyncracies, some of them well-adapted to this or that country's circumstances, some even partly determining the nature and character of the country. But, though it may take time, we can go beyond that, at least partly. To think otherwise would be simply to accept nationalism as a fatality and to give up on the EU right now.

As for "corporate capitalism" as an expression, you seem to disapprove of it because of an association with Galbraith, and because Paul Krugman says big corporations have declined in importance in the US economy. It may be that this has come about as they have outsourced and offshored, becoming transnational. Major corporations (US or not) still seem to me to be very big players.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 30th, 2005 at 04:27:03 PM EST

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