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Thread: Should we copy Europe?

  1. #1
    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    Default Should we copy Europe?

    Should We Copy Europe?

    Opinion Editorial by Walter Williams - Nov 27, 2006
    Some Americans look to European countries such as France, Germany, and its Scandinavian neighbors and suggest that we adopt some of their economic policies. I agree, we should look at Europe for the lessons they can teach us.
    Dr. Daniel Mitchell, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, does just that in his paper titled “Fiscal Policy Lessons from Europe.”
    Government spending exceeds 50 percent of the GDP in France and Sweden and more than 45 percent in Germany and Italy, compared to U.S. federal, state, and local spending of just under 36 percent.
    Government spending encourages people to rely on handouts rather than individual initiative, and the higher taxes to finance the handouts reduce incentives to work, save, and invest.
    The European results shouldn’t surprise anyone. U.S. per capita output in 2003 was $39,700, almost 40 percent higher than the average of $28,700 for European nations.
    Over the last decade, the U.S. economy has grown twice as fast as European economies. In 2006, European unemployment averaged 8 percent while the U.S. average was 4.7 percent.
    What’s more, the percentage of Americans without a job for more than 12 months was 12.7 percent while in Europe it was 42.6 percent. Since 1970, 57 million new jobs were created in the U.S., and just 4 million were created in Europe.
    Dr. Mitchell cites a comparative study by Timbro, a Swedish think tank, showing that European countries rank with the poorest U.S. states in terms of living standards, roughly equal to Arkansas and Montana and only slightly ahead of West Virginia and Mississippi.
    Average living space in Europe is just under 1,000 square feet for the average household, while U.S. households enjoy an average of 1,875 square feet, and poor households 1,200 square feet.
    In terms of income levels, productivity, employment levels, and R&D investment, according to Eurochambres (The Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry), it would take Europe about two decades to catch up with us, assuming we didn’t grow further.
    We don’t have to rely on these statistics to make us not want to be like Europeans; just watch where the foot traffic and money flow. Some 400,000 European science and technology graduates live in the U.S. European migration to our country rose by 16 percent during the 1990s. In 1980, the Bureau of Economic Analysis put foreign direct investment in the U.S. at $127 billion. Today, it’s more than $1.7 trillion.
    In 1980, there was $90 billion of foreign portfolio investment — government and private securities — in the U.S. Today, there’s more than $4.6 trillion, much of it coming from Europeans who find our investment climate more attractive.
    What’s the European response to its self-made economic malaise? They don’t repeal the laws that make for a poor investment climate. Instead, through the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), they attack low-tax jurisdictions.
    Why? To support its welfare state, European nations must have high taxes, but if Europeans, as private citizens and businessmen, relocate, invest, and save in other jurisdictions, it means less money is available to be taxed.
    Dr. Mitchell addresses this issue through his research at the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. The OECD has a blacklist for countries they’ve identified as “tax havens.” The blacklisted countries include Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia (Labuan), and Singapore.
    Also targeted are Andorra, Brunei, Costa Rica, Dubai, Guatemala, Liberia, Liechtenstein, the Marshall Islands, Monaco, the Philippines, and Uruguay. The blacklisted jurisdictions have strong financial privacy laws and low or zero rates of tax.
    The OECD member countries want the so-called tax havens to change their laws to help them identify the earnings of their citizens. Most of all, OECD wants these countries to legislate higher taxes so as to reduce their appeal. A suggestion that we should be more like Europe is the same as one suggesting that we should be poorer.


    Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He has authored more than 150 publications, including many in scholarly journals, and has frequently given expert testimony before Congressional committees on public policy issues ranging from labor policy to taxation and spending.
    http://www.theatlasphere.com/columns...liams-copy.php


    I am posting this mainly because I like to see my articles ripped to shreds.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    well lets compare the quality of life in the countries compared to the US.

    hmm all of them are generally in the top 10.

    There's more to life than workworkworkwork.. north american society is burning people out left right and center. Also take into account the social support network out there, which again eases the burden for families.

    People don't rely more on a handout, that's an old conservative myth.. its a load of crap. What good is iniative if you're so fucking poor you cant climb out of your hole?

    The europeans have the right idea.. they're investing in north america and using OUR labor to reap their profits! Duh!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    ^^ I don't see that, Grimm. Can you give an obvious example?
    " The europeans have the right idea.. they're investing in north america and using OUR labor to reap their profits!!"

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Today, there’s more than $4.6 trillion, much of it coming from Europeans who find our investment climate more attractive.
    that's pretty much it right there.

    This guy is a douche.. his whole attitude is that social programs are for retards and that we'd all be better off without them.. when the direct opposite is true.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    ^Yeah, I totally agree with you. I think that we do have social programs though, Grimm. i guess they're NOT working or something... guess we will someday find out.

    and I wonder what that 4.6 trillon represents though...

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I have no interest in a 1000 square-foot home
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

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