The W
Views: 101457846
Main | FAQ | Search: Y! / G | Color chart | Log in for more!
19.12.07 2312
The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Why the US has more than Europe Register and log in to post!
Pages: 1 2 Next(761 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
User
Post (23 total)
Grimis
Scrapple
Level: 124

Posts: 3684/4700
EXP: 21721847
For next: 114815

Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1327 days
Last activity: 1124 days
#1 Posted on 11.8.04 1024.58
Reposted on: 11.8.11 1027.04
Only a commentary piece, but a fascinating one at that:

    Originally posted by Bruce Bartlett in the 8/11/04 Wash Times
    A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the United States with real gross domestic product (GDP) per person in 2003 of $34,960 (in 1999 dollars). This is well above every European country. The most productive European country, Norway, has a per capita GDP of just $30,882 (converted using purchasing power parity exchange rates). The major countries of Europe are even further behind: United Kingdom ($26,039), France ($25,578), Italy ($24,894), and Germany ($24,813).

    In other words, Europeans produce no more per year than Americans did 20 years ago. And they are not catching up. According to the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, the productivity gap between the U.S. and Europe is actually widening. In the euro area as a whole, workers were 86 percent as productive as American workers in 1995. In 2003, this fell to 84 percent

    As a result, living standards are much lower in Europe than most Americans imagine. This fact is highlighted in a new study by the Swedish think tank Timbro. For example, it notes the average poor family here has 25 percent more living space than the average European. Looking at all American households, we have about twice as much space: 1,875 square feet here vs. 976.5 square feet in Europe. Average Europeans only live about as well as those in the poorest American state, Mississippi.....

    ....According to the report, the typical European only does a bit more than 5 hours of gainful work per day, with Norwegians at the low end at 4 hours, 56 minutes per day, and (surprisingly) the French at the high end at 5 hours, 44 minutes per day.

    One reason for the short workday is Europeans seem to get sick a lot more than Americans. According to a July 25 report in the New York Times, on an average day 25 percent of Norway's workers call in sick. A 2002 study in Sweden found the average worker there took more than 30 sick days per year. Makes you wonder just how good their health care systems really are.


Fascinating actually, especially the statistics about standard of living and productivity. I do think, however, that this backs up intuitive observations about the effect of big government and restricitions on capitalism...

Promote this thread!
spf
Scrapple
Level: 133

Posts: 2863/5405
EXP: 27340962
For next: 511778

Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 hour
AIM:  
#2 Posted on 11.8.04 1051.03
Reposted on: 11.8.11 1051.12
Of course, then one has to ask what is it worth to have that couple thousand dollar gap (and even that, I would be more interested in seeing the way that it is distributed than a blunt average). If you told me I would make a bit less, but I would get 6 weeks vacation a year, I'd be all over that in a heartbeat. No other country has its workers taking less vacation, longer days, more of a culture of never truly leaving the office. I don't see this so much as a sign of regulation as instead a cultural ethos that places matetrial gain as the sole purpose to existence.
dMr
Andouille
Level: 90

Posts: 1370/2215
EXP: 6938835
For next: 249801

Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 20 hours
#3 Posted on 11.8.04 1115.10
Reposted on: 11.8.11 1120.28
Am I really meant to be overwhelmingly surprised that the US Dept. of Labor says that the US is doing tremendously well? I mean some of the statistics selcted are curious to say the least. Living space as a guidline to quality of living? Hmmmm.

And as for the reporters use of journalistic license. I mean relating sick days to health care systems. Puh-lease. I'd also be extremely interested to know how 'gainful work per day' is calculated. Last I heard the average Brit was working a 43+ hour week.
DrDirt
Banger
Level: 97

Posts: 1094/2708
EXP: 9012948
For next: 304410

Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 12 hours
#4 Posted on 11.8.04 1115.54
Reposted on: 11.8.11 1120.46
Interesting. Curious if Germany would fair better if they hadn't absorbed the GDR? The only questions I have is how is standard of living measured and how do they view their lives?
Reverend J Shaft
Liverwurst
Level: 67

Posts: 211/1144
EXP: 2506310
For next: 86576

Since: 25.6.03
From: Home of The Big House

Since last post: 11 days
Last activity: 8 hours
#5 Posted on 11.8.04 1235.16
Reposted on: 11.8.11 1235.53
    Originally posted by dMr
    Am I really meant to be overwhelmingly surprised that the US Dept. of Labor says that the US is doing tremendously well? I mean some of the statistics selcted are curious to say the least. Living space as a guidline to quality of living? Hmmmm.

    And as for the reporters use of journalistic license. I mean relating sick days to health care systems. Puh-lease. I'd also be extremely interested to know how 'gainful work per day' is calculated. Last I heard the average Brit was working a 43+ hour week.


I don't know about you, but I like living in larger spaces rather than smaller ones. I agree with you on the sick days vs. health care issue, though, as many of them were probably playing hooky on some of those sick days.

I'd LOVE to get the holiday schedules Europeans do, but I'd worry about how we'd get everything done that needs to. It's hard work being the last remaining superpower, ya know.

As for the knock against the U.S. Dept. of Labor (those jingoistic bastards!), maybe you'd find this British site (www.statistics.gov.uk) more reliable. At least I think so, since the .gov part sounds kinda official, the .uk part seems to indicate it's a British site, and they spell labor with that crazy "u" in it.

It says Brits worked an average of 32 hours a week (page 3 of the doc) in the three months to June 2004.



(edited by Reverend J Shaft on 11.8.04 1505)
Dahak
Frankfurter
Level: 57

Posts: 481/772
EXP: 1455515
For next: 30422

Since: 12.5.02
From: Junction City OR.

Since last post: 2084 days
Last activity: 1736 days
#6 Posted on 11.8.04 1912.53
Reposted on: 11.8.11 1915.36
An interesting article but I am not really sure what it proves. Europe does get a lot more vacation days. The govts. on average at least gives more to their citizens and taxes more.
But the living space thing is kind of a joke. Europe in general is small and crowded. America is large and less crowded. Let's compare living space between the US and Canada for a better measurement. Or the East Coast about the Mason Dixon line to England. That is more accurate. I mean NY is famous for it's large cheap apts.
America is as efficient as any other country in the world. Is it the most efficient? I don't know and it's hard to compare.
Jaguar
Knackwurst
Level: 107

Posts: 2414/3273
EXP: 12855284
For next: 236069

Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 256 days
Last activity: 57 days
#7 Posted on 11.8.04 2148.03
Reposted on: 11.8.11 2148.07
I'm glad somebody jumped on the living space thing. I mean, were you surprised that people living in Wyoming had larger homes (or doublewides) than a flat in London?

-Jag
SeVen ™
Kishke
Level: 44

Posts: 334/422
EXP: 595932
For next: 15357

Since: 11.1.02
From: Japan

Since last post: 2508 days
Last activity: 2339 days
#8 Posted on 11.8.04 2234.12
Reposted on: 11.8.11 2235.51
Of course American work habits have nothing on the Japanese. Where you are ridiculed for taking time off for surgery. It's disgusting.
Grimis
Scrapple
Level: 124

Posts: 3689/4700
EXP: 21721847
For next: 114815

Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1327 days
Last activity: 1124 days
#9 Posted on 12.8.04 0711.41
Reposted on: 12.8.11 0712.29
    Originally posted by Dahak
    Europe does get a lot more vacation days. The govts. on average at least gives more to their citizens and taxes more.
And yet they have less...

That is the point.

(edited by Grimis on 12.8.04 0811)
DrDirt
Banger
Level: 97

Posts: 1099/2708
EXP: 9012948
For next: 304410

Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 12 hours
#10 Posted on 12.8.04 0730.37
Reposted on: 12.8.11 0732.43
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by Dahak
      Europe does get a lot more vacation days. The govts. on average at least gives more to their citizens and taxes more.
    And yet they have less...

    That is the point.

    (edited by Grimis on 12.8.04 0811)


It's apples and oranges IMO. If you have less but are happier is your standard of living lower? We equate happiness and standard of living with stuff. Not all do.
dMr
Andouille
Level: 90

Posts: 1371/2215
EXP: 6938835
For next: 249801

Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 20 hours
#11 Posted on 12.8.04 1033.21
Reposted on: 12.8.11 1036.29
    Originally posted by Reverend J Shaft
    I don't know about you, but I like living in larger spaces rather than smaller ones.


Yeah, but give me a choice between a 2000 square metre empty warehouse with no running water and a 1000 square meter fully furnished flat with all mod cons and I know what I'd take. Its a limited measure at best was all I was saying.


    I was trying to sayand I'd LOVE to get the holiday schedules Europeans do, but I'd worry about how we'd get everything done that needs to.



    As for the knock against the U.S. Dept. of Labor (those jingoistic bastards!), maybe you'd find this British site (www.statistics.gov.uk) more reliable. At least I think so, since the .gov part sounds kinda official, the .uk part seems to indicate it's a British site, and they spell labor with that crazy "u" in it.


I've nothing against the US Dept. of Labor in particular, just government departments in general when it comes to statistics. They really can be toyed with and framed to show just about any damn thing a government wants them to. At present for example there's quite a hoo-ha in the UK about us apparently working too hard (the working week was limited to 48 hours in 2000ish and doctors just had their hours capped at 50 odd) so I wouldn't be surprised if the LaboUr government was trying to sway things so that the avergae working week looks rather shorter.

The stat I was thinking of (43+ hours) though apparently relates to the average employed persons working week though so my bad on that. I wish someone would find ME one of these damned jobs where you work under 40 hours a week though.

As a slightly unrelated aside its interesting (to me) to note that the Swedes jumped from just 17 sick days a year to 30. They did have a system in place that allowed workers to have X number of days a year (7 rings a bell) where they could just take a sicky just for shits and giggles and apparently it did a great job of cutting down the total number of sick days taken. I'd be curious to know if something changed to cause the increase but I don't have the time to look into it just now.

(edited by dMr on 12.8.04 1634)
Rudoublesedoublel
Potato korv
Level: 55

Posts: 250/695
EXP: 1260686
For next: 53512

Since: 2.1.02
From: Kentucky - Home of the 8 time NCAA Champ Wildcats

Since last post: 38 days
Last activity: 3 days
#12 Posted on 12.8.04 1401.24
Reposted on: 12.8.11 1402.19
    Originally posted by spf2119
    Of course, then one has to ask what is it worth to have that couple thousand dollar gap (and even that, I would be more interested in seeing the way that it is distributed than a blunt average). If you told me I would make a bit less, but I would get 6 weeks vacation a year, I'd be all over that in a heartbeat. No other country has its workers taking less vacation, longer days, more of a culture of never truly leaving the office. I don't see this so much as a sign of regulation as instead a cultural ethos that places matetrial gain as the sole purpose to existence.


You make a good point with the "labor vs. leisure" argument. At the same time, different persons are motivated by different things - in a free market it could be assumed that those who prefer material good tend to work more while those who prefer leisure time will tend to work less - when possible.

Another consideration of the GDP figures is that they don't consider the value of "home production" -meals, cleaning, etc. performed at home by the homeowner- which is, at least intuitively, a valuable means of production. It is possible that if nation a has more per capita home production than nation b, if the two nations have equal per capita GDP, then nation a actually has a "true" per-capita GDP that is greater.

At the same time, don't be too blinded by the rhetoric about the distribution of income. Thomas Sowell has taught me a lot about some fallacies regarding the distribution of income (though I've never had the pleasure to meet him). In general, younger persons and older persons tend to be in the lower bands of income distribution (due to being retired or starting careers), and most people move throughout all of the bands throughout their lives.

Like any economic measure per capita GDP and living space aren't perfect, but until utility (economic satisfaction) can be measured they are just a couple of the tools available to measure economic welfare.
fuelinjected
Banger
Level: 97

Posts: 2346/2679
EXP: 9252031
For next: 65327

Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 3319 days
Last activity: 3319 days
#13 Posted on 12.8.04 1654.33
Reposted on: 12.8.11 1654.38
The places I would happily live in:

1. Canada
2. Australia
3. USA
4. Sweden (only due to the language barrier)
5. England

That's just based on my travels and experiences. In Canada, you can enjoy a safer and higher quality of life then the US but you get anything American you want. You're also liked all over the world.

Australia is a friggin awesome place but its a little too isolated from everything I'm used to.

USA comes next because its the good outweighs the bad by a substantial portion.

Sweden is a beautiful country and the people are so reserved and nice. Its like Canada with a different language.

England is fifth but I really wasn't all that impressed. Overcrowded, too expensive, and bad food.

The other places I've been that I wouldn't really want to live in; Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, Amersterdam and Russia. And you couldn't pay me to live in France.
DrDirt
Banger
Level: 97

Posts: 1109/2708
EXP: 9012948
For next: 304410

Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 12 hours
#14 Posted on 12.8.04 1719.21
Reposted on: 12.8.11 1729.01
Fuelinjected, add Ireland to the list. It has problems but the western half is awesome and the people great. Same for Scotland. I hope to buy a small island off the coast of Ireland with a thatch roof, several cases of good whiskey and a tone of books. Plus a little boat and a fishing pole with enough peat to cook everything.
Grimis
Scrapple
Level: 124

Posts: 3701/4700
EXP: 21721847
For next: 114815

Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1327 days
Last activity: 1124 days
#15 Posted on 13.8.04 0624.10
Reposted on: 13.8.11 0624.59
I loved Germany when I was there for a month in high school. Of course, my host family was filthy rich(owned a tobacco shop) so they had a downtown two-story apartment and an enoromous house in the Alps...
spf
Scrapple
Level: 133

Posts: 2867/5405
EXP: 27340962
For next: 511778

Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 hour
AIM:  
#16 Posted on 13.8.04 0931.37
Reposted on: 13.8.11 0932.43
Fuel,

Totally agree on the Sweden and Australia sentiments. To be honest, even the language issue with Sweden isn't bad if you live in Stockholm itself. It was a bit tough for me when I was out in the burbs there, but in the city itself almost everyone I spoke to had a rudimentary English to work with my almost non-existant Swedish (though a good hearty HEJ! seems to go a long way )

And Australia is just excellent. That would be number 1 on my list of places to relocate to if I ever decided to settle somewhere other than the USA. But that could just be my love of Australian Rules Football talking.
Malarky
Bauerwurst
Level: 23

Posts: 4/104
EXP: 65160
For next: 2564

Since: 19.8.04

Since last post: 3724 days
Last activity: 3721 days
#17 Posted on 19.8.04 2130.26
Reposted on: 19.8.11 2130.47
You can't judge living standards based solely on GDP per capita. That figure is a poor judge as it is inflated by the US's high number (as compared to other countries) of millionaires/billionaires.

The U.S., on the contrary, has much higher rates of poverty than other industrialized countries.

It's all about the gini coefficient, baby.....
Corajudo
Frankfurter
Level: 58

Posts: 288/810
EXP: 1533543
For next: 44012

Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 164 days
Last activity: 4 days
#18 Posted on 21.8.04 1007.47
Reposted on: 21.8.11 1007.54
    Originally posted by Malarky
    You can't judge living standards based solely on GDP per capita. That figure is a poor judge as it is inflated by the US's high number (as compared to other countries) of millionaires/billionaires.

    The U.S., on the contrary, has much higher rates of poverty than other industrialized countries.

    It's all about the gini coefficient, baby.....


Ah yes, the gini coefficient. Of course! I don't know why we waste our time with data about unemployment, salaries, output, or anything else. It's all about income distribution.

The best thing is that it'd be easy to achieve the 'perfect' gini coefficient--just put a tax rate of 100% on income, then redistribute the income by tax revenue (less what the government needs to operate and send checks to everyone, natch) divided by the number of households. Voila! All our economic problems will end!
Malarky
Bauerwurst
Level: 23

Posts: 6/104
EXP: 65160
For next: 2564

Since: 19.8.04

Since last post: 3724 days
Last activity: 3721 days
#19 Posted on 23.8.04 1218.25
Reposted on: 23.8.11 1219.58
    Originally posted by Corajudo
      Originally posted by Malarky
      You can't judge living standards based solely on GDP per capita. That figure is a poor judge as it is inflated by the US's high number (as compared to other countries) of millionaires/billionaires.

      The U.S., on the contrary, has much higher rates of poverty than other industrialized countries.

      It's all about the gini coefficient, baby.....


    Ah yes, the gini coefficient. Of course! I don't know why we waste our time with data about unemployment, salaries, output, or anything else. It's all about income distribution.

    The best thing is that it'd be easy to achieve the 'perfect' gini coefficient--just put a tax rate of 100% on income, then redistribute the income by tax revenue (less what the government needs to operate and send checks to everyone, natch) divided by the number of households. Voila! All our economic problems will end!



Erm, you're refuting a point I never made there buddy.

Re-read my post.
Rudoublesedoublel
Potato korv
Level: 55

Posts: 252/695
EXP: 1260686
For next: 53512

Since: 2.1.02
From: Kentucky - Home of the 8 time NCAA Champ Wildcats

Since last post: 38 days
Last activity: 3 days
#20 Posted on 23.8.04 1637.24
Reposted on: 23.8.11 1639.57
    Originally posted by Malarky

    The U.S., on the contrary, has much higher rates of poverty than other industrialized countries.
    quote]

    I have found data that states that
    childhood poverty rates
    in the US are higher than in the rest of the industrialized world, but I can't find those same figures for the nation as a whole. The devil's advocate in me wonders if these numbers are skewed by by the large number of children in impoverished families (how many children are in the average impoverished family there vs. the average impoverished family here?) and the devil's advocate in me also wonders how many of the persons who were impoverished at the time of the survey were still impoverished a few years later.




Pages: 1 2 NextThread ahead: The Liberal Media: A Test
Next thread: Pataki '08?
Previous thread: "I'm (your name here), and I approve this message."
(761 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Why the US has more than EuropeRegister and log in to post!

The W™ message board - 7 year recycle

ZimBoard
©2001-2014 Brothers Zim
This old hunk of junk rendered your page in 0.261 seconds.