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If you recall, wages were low in Sweden as well, and having a greater labour pool to compete with might not have been a positive thing.

If we are talking about "non-colonial European countries" in the period before WW II, the issue of competing with cheap labor from the colonies of colonial powers was not an issue.  Colonies were seen as natural resource providers, as providers of goods unobtainable in Europe, such as spices, and as markets for European manufactured goods, such as cloth, railroads and locomotives along with telegraphs, the metal blades for Zulu spears, etc. etc.  Another colonial play was to obtain goods, such as opium, in one colony, such as Burma, and use the superior military power of the colonial mother country, such as Great Britain, to facilitate access to the interior markets of, for example, China, where that opium could be sold to landowners, who became addicted, as a means of extracting gold and silver from China for shipment back to, for example, Great Britain.  This led, of course, to the infamous Opium Wars between Britain and China when the Chinese Emperor and the Mandarins took a dim view of this process.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Sep 11th, 2009 at 09:20:43 PM EST
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