Friday, June 10, 2011
  How to do it right

We don't pay much attention to Turkey because it's stable. We should be paying more attention.

NPR notes today that Turkey's current government is highly likely to win re-election on Sunday. Why?
[Prime Minister] Erdogan is reminding voters how he kept his promise to bring Turkey's economic resurgence home to the people.

"Per capita income used to be $3,400; now we are over $10,000. Inflation used to be 30 percent; now it's down to only 4.3 percent. And we're not done yet — everything will be better, everything will be more stable," Erdogan said.


Is he right? Yes. And what's his secret? An arcane magic trick that the Anglosphere has completely forgotten:

Make things.

= = = = =

From a Wiki page on Turkey:

In many ways Turkey has weathered the credit crunch better than other emerging economies. Partly thanks to tough regulation, not a single Turkish bank has gone under. That is also because, unlike many Western banks, they have few toxic assets and limited mortgage exposure. So the government has not had to divert public money into rescuing banks.


Agriculture is big:
Turkey is the world's largest producer of hazelnut, cherry, fig, apricot, quince and pomegranate; the second largest producer of watermelon, cucumber and chickpea; the third largest producer of tomato, eggplant, green pepper, lentil and pistacchio; the fourth largest producer of onion and olive; the fifth largest producer of sugar beet; the sixth largest producer of tobacco, tea and apple; the seventh largest producer of cotton and barley; the eighth largest producer of almond; the ninth largest producer of wheat, rye and grapefruit, and the tenth largest producer of lemon. Turkey has been self-sufficient in food production since the 1980s.

Manufacturing is even bigger:
By January 2005, Vestel and its rival Turkish electronics and white goods brand BEKO accounted for more than half of all TV sets manufactured in Europe.

Turkey has been building cars for many decades, beginning with assembly of American and European brands, and now mainly building its own cars and trucks.
In 2008 Turkey produced 1,147,110 motor vehicles, ranking as the 6th largest producer in Europe (behind the United Kingdom and above Italy) and the 15th largest producer in the world.

Turkey makes lots of clothing. Most of the clothing and linens in my house are from Turkey, partly because I try to avoid China.
Currently, it is one of the most important sectors in the Turkish economy, accounting for 10 percent of GDP, 20 percent of the labor force, and 40 percent of total manufacturing output. This sector is the largest in the country and it is the largest supplier of exports as well. Today, Turkey is extremely competitive in international markets and was ranked sixth in world exports of clothing in 1998.


Seems like we could stand to learn a few things from Turkey, such as how to set up a capitalist economy, how to control banks, how to make TVs, how to make clothing.

And maybe how to run a culture as well.

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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