Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, August 08, 2005

Czech - Slovakia:
A Lesson for Canada?

From Celestial Junk:

The Czech republic, perhaps better than any ex-soviet block nation, has entered the free world at a sprint. Instead of collapsing into civil war, or being overrun by mafia type gangs, the Czechs finessed their way into the developed world. Using a pragmatism that Canadians could learn from, one of the first acts of the Czech democratic government was to release its grumbling and nationalistic province, Slovakia.

The strategy was simple: When the Slovaks brought forward a list of autonomy demands, with the threat of separation attached, the Czechs simply let the Slovaks go. A shocked and bewildered Slovakia, got handed its head on a plate; independence. Perhaps there’s a lesson here for Canadians in their dealings with Quebec.

For more on the Czech success story, see the whole item.
[Update: Note that the Slovakian economy has been doing well lately. See this piece by Brian Ferguson.]
I doubt that splitting Canada, a country that has existed for over a century, would be as easy as splitting Czechoslovakia was in its nascent state. Bob Young, a poli-sci colleague at UWO, has long argued that we have no idea how costly separation will be.

[Thanks to Gods of the Copybook for the pointer]
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