Monday, 28 April 2003

Scottish independence

Scotland could be better off independent according to Robert Mundell who is a Nobel Prize winning economist:
Four days before the election, Robert Mundell, professor of economics at Columbia University, New York, not only backed fiscal autonomy for Scotland, which is SNP policy, but went further and said there was no reason why the country could not be successful under independence.
Mundell goes on to say:
"As an independent member of the EU and the European Monetary Union, Scotland would be part of the largest common market in the world and share the second-most important currency in the world. There is no reason why a Scotland that was managed well could not flourish, taking advantage of her special geographical position, oil and sea resources."
The emphasis must be on the "managed well". Most of us would agree that Saudi Arabia is well endowed with natural resources but it only managed a per capita GDP of $8,430 in 2001. Hong Kong and Singapore succeed without any resources other than the most important of all - property rights, the rule of law and a political class that favours capitalism. If Scotland had those, it wouldn't matter whether or not we had any "natural" resources.