Wednesday, August 26


I give Natasha the day off so I can be solo with the kids. After a slow start ("I said brush your teeth and put on your shoes!") here we are at Waterloo station on our way into town. I prefer public transportation as it allows us to talk whereas otherwise I drive and they stair. We miss the morning rush hour - horrible way to start one's day though better than the traffic jam - and we secure three seats together. Eitan reminds me that we discussed "all the concrete" but I recall my comment more provocative: everything surrounding us the product of human imagination and ability. Like a board game we pass the Flower Market, the UK Poste then DHL and Deloitte's corporate HQ and Cap Gemini -- each with their neat little space South of the Thames.

London has the 6th largest city economy in the world after Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris, according to PwC. As EU's second largest city economy after Paris, London's metropolitan area generates about 30% of the UK's GDP or $669 billion in 2005 (Institute For Urban Planning). The broader Southeast the engine of the British economy and exports aprox. £20 billion to the home counties. Unfortunately, the capital lags in many services including health care (longer than average NHS wait times), school's (some of the country's worst) and transportation (most used rail and public transportation networks). By contrast, Paris absorbs the nation's wealth and not surprisingly most things work. This true for the country, actually - which goes to show that higher taxes without wastage and competent government can create a more egalitarian society. Still, I would never start a company here. Liberté, égalité, fraternité.