By B. W. E. Alford
The talk over "Britain in decline" nonetheless rages within the educational, political and public spheres. during this concise undergraduate e-book, B.W.E. Alford examines Britain's financial improvement inside a framework of political, social and cultural components, together with subject matters reminiscent of the alleged means of deindustrialization, the function of sterling, hard work kin and the impression of presidency coverage. Professor Alford presents a transparent and crucial creation to the topic, but exhibits how complicated and deep-rooted are the motives of the "British Disease."
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Additional resources for British Economic Performance, 1945–1975
Account also has to be taken of the distribution of investment between branches of industry and of the intensity and efficiency of capital use - though the latter is extremely difficult to measure. , 1977; Williams, 1962]. s the direct means to higher growth in the UK are probably very wide of the mark [Pollard, 1982]. , 1976]. In addition, low profits might be assumed to have lowered expectations of future profits and hence weakened the incentive to invest - a factor shown by the Radcliffe Report (1959) to have been far more important in determining investment policy than the rate of interest.
To begin with, there is 'learning by doing' which frequently involves relatively quite small alterations in techniques and/or practices but which, cumulatively, can add up to major productivity gains. Secondly, technical innovation may occur directly in the factory or workshop without any prior research expenditure and possibly as pure serendipity. Spectacular examples of this are rayon and float glass. The remaining three elements are variants of benefiting from technical advances made abroad.
By the early 1970s, direct subsidies at just under £400m were not far short of the equivalent of half all central and local government expenditure on roads and public highways; and the pattern has been intensified under the agricultural policy of the EEC since 1973. By the early 19S0s the claim that agriculture saved valuable foreign exchange was already paper-thin. And even if the case for agriculture is extended to include welfare considerations concerned with the preservation of rural life (and such claims have regularly been made by the agricultural interest) then the creation of mini-prairies and suburbanised villages would testify to its failure.