Some perspective on the EU and the U.S.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by vlls, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. vlls

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  2. B_nyvin

    B_nyvin New Member

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    he's quite far left-leaning in being liberal, but brings up good points, especially about income inequality and quality of life differences. I do think the EU is something quite unique in the world, something overall for the better.

    Some of the later points are a little dreamy. But the point of Europe only have a 6% gdp to debt ratio compared to 10.5% for the USA is rather interesting.
     
  3. gymfresh

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    I think it's actually the other way around: Steven Hill mentions that Europe (EU? Eurozone? All Europe?) has a 6% deficit to GDP ratio vs. the rather bolder and scarier 10.5% ratio in the US.

    A small excerpt in the context of the long interview:

    "For example, while Greece is going through this deficit issue, the people there all still have healthcare. They have a much more generous support for workers who get laid off. They have paid parental leave, paid sick leave. They have more generous retirement, more vacations. And, you know, whereas Americans, when we go through this, really don’t have any of that at all.

    "But the thing that’s important to realize is that these sorts of things have been portrayed as something that undermines the European economy vis-à-vis the American economy. But, in fact, when you really look at the numbers, there’s no truth to it whatsoever. Europe has the largest economy in the world. It’s almost a third of the world’s economy. In fact, it’s almost as large as the United States and China’s economy combined. Europe has more Fortune 500 companies than China and the United States combined. It has more small businesses, that produce two-thirds of the jobs, compared to in the United States where small business produces about only half the jobs. And so, however you want to measure it, the European economy is robust, and it’s vibrant.

    "But what Europe has managed to do is to figure out how do we harness this ability of capitalism to create wealth, because there’s no question that capitalism creates a lot of wealth, but there’s an outstanding question here of what do we do with that wealth. Whose pockets does that money go into? Europe has figured out a way to harness this wealth and create a more broadly shared prosperity that all of their people enjoy."


    Nice to hear this so clearly from an American political writer. I've long argued that it's jingoistic claptrap from the US that our de facto policy of force-feeding all our national resources into business and leaving human citizens to essentially fend for themselves is the most efficient and humane deployment of resources. The result instead is great wealth for some; poverty for many; a declining middle class; tens of millions without reliable medical coverage (and growing); a shameful infant mortality rate; no effective national public health policy; and irreconcilable, immoral imbalances throughout society, which simply fuels antisocial behavior like crime and racism.
     
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