Thursday, February 12, 2009

Are we all socialists now?

From Newsweek:
Whether we like it or not—or even whether many people have thought much about it or not—the numbers clearly suggest that we are headed in a more European direction. A decade ago U.S. government spending was 34.3 percent of GDP, compared with 48.2 percent in the euro zone—a roughly 14-point gap, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2010 U.S. spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the euro zone—a gap of less than 8 points. As entitlement spending rises over the next decade, we will become even more French. ...

The architect of this new era of big government? History has a sense of humor, for the man who laid the foundations for the world Obama now rules is George W. Bush.... Bush brought the Age of Reagan to a close; now Obama has gone further, reversing Bill Clinton's end of big government. ... Polls show that Americans don't trust government and still don't want big government. They do, however, want what government delivers, like health care and national defense and, now, protections from banking and housing failure.


  1. We're going to be more like Europe? Oh no! More equality, less poverty, longer life expectancy, how horrible!

  2. Stagnant economies, high unemployment, lack of innovation, everything either mandatory of forbidden...

  3. Yea anonymous, they don't innovate things like SIVs, CDOs, CDSs, MBS ...

    Our capitalist masters are so ingenious!

  4. Socialism is a good thing so long as it's not corrupted by capitalism.

  5. Nobody said the US was perfect, but Europe is no place to envy for economic reasons. (The do do a lot of things well.)

    In the midst of the boom half the eurozone countries had unemployment higher than we have right now... and that doesn't effectively count their huge immigrant communities.

    If you think Europe has somehow solved poverty you must never have been to Europe.

  6. "If you think Europe has somehow solved poverty you must never have been to Europe."

    no they haven't solved poverty....but they do take care of the people in poverty.

  7. And they have a lot less poverty to begin with. Our child poverty rates especially should shame us all.

  8. Indeed...that POS Madoff could have solved probably most, if not all of the poverty problems this country has...instead he just HAD TO HAVE ALL of the $50BB. Yeah capitalism. It's so good.

  9. Lets not kid ourselves about europe. I love the place - I plan to retire there, but its no surprise their living standards are lower than ours.

    And its not always obvious either. Yes they take more vacations and have less poverty thus, you could argue they have better standards than ours.

    However, it is only in europe that you could have thing like a heat wave kill 15,000 people in one city alone!

    There is absolutely no chance that something like that could happen in the US - in large part because we have the wherewithall to prevent it. Disasters do happen (i.e. Katrina), but the might of this country, and the standard of living it affords to its citizenry (on average) is the envy of europe.

    Still, I love the place, cant wait to retire there!

  10. "but the might of this country, and the standard of living it affords to its citizenry (on average) is the envy of europe."

    Only an American that has NEVER been out of this country could say something like this. Believe me, there is not a SIGNLE european that "envy" us and that includes the poorest eastern euros too.

  11. ANON: (February 13, 2009 4:04 PM )

    After having lived in Europe for 15 years, I can honestly say your comments are completely baseless. Europe not having the where-with-all to deal with a heat wave?

    So I guess Japan didn't have the where-with-all to deal with the Kobe earthquake either that killed thousands in 1995...even though they are the most advanced country in the world when to comes to seismic construction techniques.

    Nonsense. The reasons why Europeans have higher standards of living is exactly true for the same reasons for which you mentioned. They have more time to themselves, they have more benefits, more luxuries only we can dream of if we have the money to pay for...such as decent and fully-accessible health care for all. I'm not sure how high that is on your priority list but for someone like my brother who has a host of health issues but no insurance because of the lack of a job in this country, it's very high on his and mine.

    Europe's standard of living embarrasses the US. And I'm not talking about the rich losers you'll find on Rodeo Drive or Palm Beach.