View Full Version : Eurochambres: US > EU

Mota Boy
03-06-2007, 09:55 AM
USA! USA! USA! (http://www.finfacts.com/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10009325.shtml)

OK, seriously though, I'm interested to see what you Euros think about this. Part of it could certainly due to the EU enlargement, but how much, particularly since those countries, in theory, have the most potential for growth? Is the European model really that far behind the US one? If so, should it be altered at all? Personally, I'm fairly pessimistic about the US's long-term financial success what with our massive debts, so I really hope this doesn't become a pissing contest ('cause the US can totally out-piss anyone else!), but I'm more interested in hearing some EU perspective on the study.

03-06-2007, 10:30 AM
I would point out that after WW2 Europe was quite a long way behind the US. Especially Eastern Europe. I really don't know about industry. As an ordinary consumer of both, I can't see a huge difference. Although I can only speak from a Scandinavian impression, and apparently we live quite a deal better than mainland Europe (lol suckers, fuck off).

Unemployment in Denmark however is not our problem, we have something like too much employment causing problems in our economy. Which seems kinda odd since we're likewise talking about bottle necking problems causing unemployment. I guess unemployment isn't high enough to prevent inflation.

Also with R&D I think Denmark is leading in many of the medicinal industries and other things. Obviously we have our own niche areas since we're a small country, so I can't speak for the EU as a whole.

But also your article is from a clearly conservative (in the European sense) perspective, it's finishing line is one by Angela Merkel. So of course it suggests the tearing down of the European social model, which probably would actually destroy the Danish economy.

Income wise though, I can't say. I know that I as a student, am significantly better off than my American peers (those like me, who recieve no funding from their parents.) Simply because not only do I not pay for education, but I also recieve a stipend for studying, while I work on the side. Later on it may vary. I think the majority of people in Denmark can reach typical middle class surburban-esque lifestyles. But it's very rare that anyone gets super rich or anything. People make enough to live comfortably, buy luxury items, and travel.

Mota Boy
03-06-2007, 11:00 AM
I would point out that after WW2 Europe was quite a long way behind the US. Especially Eastern Europe.The US practically bent over backwards for Europe after the war, though, what with the Marshall Plan, favorable trade policies and the Bretton Woods System, which pegged European currencies to the dollar at, eventually, unrealistic and favorable rates, Europe began to rebound and was roughly on equal playing fields with the US by the seventies. While Eastern Europe can still claim stagnation left over from the Cold War, I think looking back to WWII is quite a stretch.

And yeah, I was mainly attempting to sort out any sort of bias which wouldn't be evident to someone unfamiliar with European politics. Still, though the article may be biased, the report itself appears to deal with hard facts from a respectable organization.

Also, I wonder how Europe and the US compare in terms of average income versus median income.

03-06-2007, 11:05 AM
I don't think you can say europe is behind the US, Europe is divided, some country's in western europe are fairly similar to the US. But some country's in eastern europe are 20 behind the west.

03-07-2007, 08:08 AM
I think they're ever so slightly downplaying the 10 newest EU members' detremental effect on the statistics...

Talking about things like unemployment rate in direct comparison doesn't really seem worthwhile to be honest - unemployment in Europe and the US are two different phoenomena. And it has nothing to do with Europeans being lazy. The structure of unemployment is different in Europe and the US. Long-term unemployment is a far higher proportion of total unemployment in Europe compared to the US and the equilibrium level of unemployment in European economies tends to be higher. Trying to push unemployment down would just cause problems of accelerating inflation.

And of course, there are always those countires which don't really fit, ie. the UK and the Scandinavian countries. And the Scandinavian countries are really the most interesting because they sustain a pretty extensive welfare state and still outperform the US in its traditionally dominant areas such as unemployment.

Wheelchairman, in Denmark the unemployment rate in 2005 was higher than the natural rate of unemployment so I wouldn't have thought inflation should really be a problem!

And I guess the other main thing is talking about GDP/GNP as if it is the be all and end all of economic performance measurement. It tells us nothing about how well the people in a country actually live. My macro lecturer gave us this quote from Robert Kennedy:

"The gross national product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. GNP includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm, and missiles and nuclear warheads... it does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, or the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile."

I know that I would tend to say I'd prefer the "European" lifestyle to the "Anglo-American" one.

03-07-2007, 10:36 AM
Hmm then I just don't know why it seems that our government has this idea that we have too many employed people.

Great Mike
03-17-2007, 09:40 AM
Just to give an idea, Romania has been allocated 30 billion from EU Structural Funds for the period 2007-2013, primarily targeted at reducing disparities with other member states.

Digest that.

P.S.: anymore talk about EU enlargement & I buy myself black glasses & emigrate down under.

American or real billions?