Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Economic Failures-World Cup Success Stories

The World Cup in football -or soccer as Americans call it- have captivated nearly the entire world except for America. I am not really that interested per se in the sport, where too few goals are made (Far too many World Cup matches have had the boring result of 0-0) for it to be really interesting, although the fact that there is so much media attention around it and the fact that the World Cup have broader economic, social and political consequences means that I feel compelled to follow the matches (or at least the results) anyway.

What is noteworthy is the fact that the 4 teams that made it to the semifinals came from 4 of the worst performing economies: Germany, Italy, France and Portugal. These are in fact the 4 worst performing economies of Europe, and apart from a few extreme examples like Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, the world. This is probably just a coincidence with no causal connection, so I guess all this means is that the people of these countries can comfort themselves by having a successfull football team, which to many people seems more important than having a successfull economy.


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