The scale dips one way, or the other - Granite Grok

The scale dips one way, or the other

So often we hear from our Liberal elite leaders (politicos, academics, pundits) that we should be more like Europe, that we should be more "sophisticated and nuanced".  After all, they have it better over there with universal healthcare, better schooling, a better way of life, right?

Leaving aside the fact that they have an undemocratic EU superstructure creating lots of regulations that constrain the living daylights out of everything, at least in someways, this "fact" turns into a myth.

Walter E. Williams (economist at George Mason University) has a column over at that says that we SHOULD learn some things….that some things are not as they seem to be:

Government spending

  • France & Sweden spends more than 50% of their GDP
  • Germany & Italy spend more than 45 percent
  • US spending (Fed, state, local) is just under 36 percent.

Less taxes – more left for those that earn it!  And when you keep it, guess what happens – you work harder:

  • U.S. per capita output in 2003 was $39,700
  • European average is $28,700

Employment (2006):

  • European unemployment averaged 8 percent
  • U.S. average was 4.7 percent.
  • percentage of Americans without a job for more than 12 months was 12.7 percent
  • 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.

Other data:

  • 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 European household is just under 1,000 square feet US households enjoy an average of 1,875 square feet, and poor households 1,200 square feet.

  • Overall, According to Eurochambres, it would take Europe about two decades to catch up with us, assuming we didn’t grow further.

The problem is that being a socialistic environment, they wish to protect everyone and everything – very little risk taking and taxes to support it.  That’s the societal outlook, but companies and individuals are going to watch out for them selves.  So what do we see?

Capital flight – move the money and the business to other places (like the US which has benefited greatly from their environment).  So what is the reaction to it?  Instead of competing (e.g., loosen their regulations and lessen their taxes), they want everyone to be like them – RAISE THEIR taxes!


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…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.

Read the whole thing and for those of us in the US, be thankful (so far).