Letters: An Olympic effort to retool the economy

Now we can look back on an Olympics well done, what lessons we can learn to fix our ailing economy? The Olympics show you can buy success. If you provide the athletes with the best facilities, train them well and then support them in their work, you will reap rewards. It has worked for us – and it works for China and the US every time. I note the absence of free-market thinking in our success. We didn’t expect our top athletes to organise their own training or go into debt to pay for it. The only displays of capitalism were the vulgar works of the sponsors. Your excellent article on Samsung (10 August) noted that all phones will soon be “good enough” and the company is going to spend $21bn before 2020 on solar panels, LEDs for lighting, electric car batteries, medical equipment and biotech drugs. Wouldn’t it be cheering to note that Britain was going to spend that sort of money to research the important products of the future and be able to pay our way in the world? Our balance of payments can only worsen further if our only plan is hoping we can become a tax haven for the Chinese. Foreign-owned car companies have reaped the benefits of UK investment: it’s a shame the government doesn’t share their optimism.
Tony Jones

• Having glimpsed another kind of Britain at the Olympics (Jonathan Freedland, 11 August), can we mobilise the same spirit to triumph over poverty, domestic violence and social deprivation to create a new kind of Britain as well? With this level of dedication, training and investment we can release talents in everyone on this Isle of Wonder.
Titus Alexander
Director of policy, People Can

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