A Napoleonic lesson in job creation

Federal budget tightness, and the questionable economic value of some academic degrees, point to the question of whether Australia would be better off varying its approach to the role of universities.

When Napoleon Bonaparte called Britain “a nation of shopkeepers” it was intended as a withering put-down – and so it was in an era when ‘boutiquiers’ were still sneered at, despite having been one of the disaffected groups responsible for the French revolution that gave Bonaparte his big chance.

Fast forward two centuries, and Britain’s conservative government thinks a nation of shopkeepers is a wonderful thing to be.

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