TheBigPond - spotlight on what South African business and business people have been up to in Europe. Edited by South African journalist Christo Volschenk from Stuttgart, Germany. Note: This blog has migrated to a new home at www.thebigpond.eu.
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The link between sport and the health of nations
I've always been impressed by the way American Paul Kennedy made a name (and a lot of money) for himself with the book titled The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, in which he essentially said: There is a link between the political and economic power of a nation and this link remained in place over the last 20-odd centuries.
If ever there was a more obvious thing to say and to make money with!
Since this "surprise happening" I've been on the lookout for links to make money with. I've found a few over the years and would like to test them with my readers. Please tell me if you think I should write a 500-page book on the following links I recently "found":
* While researching something for a client on the internet this week, I "discovered" that American websites are generally much more "untidy", or "undisciplined" than those of the UK and, in turn, the UK sites are a touch "less perfect" than German websites. Put in another way, German websites are far more "ordered", "disciplined" and "tidy" and far better "navigatable" than those of both the English and the Americans. In short, in comparison to the Americans, the Germans are far more perfectionist. Compared to the English, the Germans are noticably more perfectionist. In still different words: The differences noticable between BMW, Porsche, Mercedes and Audi on the one hand, and British and American cars on the other, are also noticable in the new world of the internet.
Now, one can start wondering whether the Germans are going to win the "internet war" against the Brits and Yanks in the long term (in the way they decisively and clearly won the "car war). So, that's my first link: Why the top nation of "old-economy-engine-builders", will also become the top nation of "new-economy-engine-builders" (that's really what websites are).
O, you don't think that's worth 500 pages. Well, then. Try this for size. There is a link between the (almost) total disappearance of top athletes (sportsmen) with American citizenship, and the decline of the USA standing in the world, from a political, economic and military point of view. The sun is setting on the empire and the citizens feel it. In turn, this is impacting negatively on their performance on the sports fields of the world.
A few examples: The US dominated world tennis since the dawn of professionalism in the early 70s. First Connors, then McEnroe, then Agassi, then others, then Sampras and then....nothing. Not even in the top. The same goes for the women in tennis. And in boxing. And (this is my prediction) in athletics. We'll be able to test my thesis in the upcoming Olympics. I say: America will surprise with the (relatively) few medals they win in Bejing.
To summarize the link: The disappearance of Americans on the sports fields and podiums of the world is a reflection of what is going on in the American society and the country as a whole...it is in decline on many fronts.
Now, where's the big money?
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