My wife and I have a fairly major difference of opinion when it comes to my mother country, the UK. It takes me all of about a day when I come back to be driven mad by the things that just simply don’t work. The plumbing really gets me. Take the showers. For some reason a dribble of water, alternating between scalding hot and freezing cold, is thought to be acceptable. And why do they have two taps in the bathrooms instead of a proper mixer tap? The transportation systems that just don’t – transport you that is, because they always seem to be broken, overcrowded or it just snowed a centimeter and the trains have been cancelled. My wife for some reason, probably the fact that she’s American, just sees it all as quaint. Anyway, I’m in the UK at the moment for business and shivering cold in my hotel room, as the hotel I’m staying in doesn’t have double let alone triple glazing and the heating system is ancient. Anyway it’s interesting to scan the newspapers with regards the current economic woes of the UK. The Daily Mail, that bastion of English conservative thinking, announces ‘austerity cuts will cost £10,000 a family as think tank warns it may STILL not be enough’. The Guardian newspaper headline runs ‘Councils fear loss of 100,000 jobs from £2bn funding black hole’. Things seem dire in dear old blighty. And the USA seems to be in the same plight. Interesting to contrast all that to the situation in Germany and their latest growth figures. The country is going through a boom as the economy grew 2.2% in the last quarter and unemployment falls. When you look at what is driving that recovery it’s down to mostly one thing. Brands. Great German brands who have helped the economy recover quicker. Brands like Porsche, where profits and sales are being driven through the roof. All this also neatly disproves the theory that manufacturing is dead in western countries because it’s cheaper to make things in low cost economies. The fact is strong brands will sell if you make great quality products that live up to the brand promise. Just makes me think that never has building strong brands and good quality products been more important. I personally think that the UK’s problem with its plumbing is a pretty good indicator of the UKs problem with it’s economy. Leaky, unreliable and too often botched. Sale Windows 7 Ultimate Buy Windows 7 Ultimate Buy Windows 7 Ultimate Windows 7 Ultimate Cheap Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Sale Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Discount Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus