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January 12, 2010

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Sue

Yeah, about that whole revolution to become independent and not part of Europe? Forget about it. Experiment gone wrong, or something.

Clarice

If you are upper middle class or higher in Europe it's a rather good life.Plenty of lower wage servants. Free college for your kids. Nice roads to drive your cars on and pretty old homes in picturesque places. If you aren't and enjoy a static life where for the moment all your basic needs are taken over by the state--except for cooling auntie's apt in Paris in August or getting her fired carcass buried before the return from the sea--until it runs out of Euros or whatever they will be using in a few years,you'll like it, too.
But if you are a person who hopes he and his children will have a full opportunity to be whatever they choose to and want to have a say in the major issues of the day like immigration and taxes and war, you'll like it not so much.

Rob Crawford

Friedman longs for a Chinese-style command economy, a government so pervasive it can ban plastic bags overnight.

Brooks longs for government by the "educated class" -- a category long on Ivy League lawyers and "government" school grads and their sycophants and short on people who, you know, do things in the real world.

Krugman longs for European-style social democracy, with a cradle-to-grave suffocating nanny state.

Is there an NYT columnist who likes the United States?

Jack is Back!

Since I have spent a large part of my working life, military life and retirement life in Europe (my wife is Belgian and my family is British) I had to laugh my ass off reading Krugman.

He hasn't a freeking clue as to what it is like in Europe - either from life style, individual liberty, affluence or security. They are just now waking up regarding Islam and immigration but not to the degree needed to defend itself but rather finally acknowledging that something has changed before their eyes and they didn't see it happening. Also, Europe is aging fast and its social-economic model is financially strapped to the point they are cooking the State books to look like they are conforming to the EU budgetary requirements. Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal probably are out of alignment today with those requirements but still participate in the Euro zone.

If they had to pay the same % GDP we pay for attending to our national security (even in a collective way) they would not be able to afford all those little things Krugman thinks are so lovey-dovey. Then there are the little things like Sunday papers, satellite TV, broadcasting the games on the day they are played, etc. that believe me you end up missing first. [The Brits have Sunday papers but not the Belgians, for example. But you can't get the soccer games on Saturday only a bunch of ex-jocks sitting at a big table talking about the games as they listen to them on radio].

Ignatz

Demographics and Krugman's beloved 'social democracy' are on a collision course. To prevent ruin one is going to have to be altered. I'm betting demographics proves a lot more resistent to alteration than either the 'social' or the 'democracy'.

squaredance

Oh for crying out loud! This idiot is hanging out with the rich. What he does not realize is that person that appears to him to be "middle class" by American standards is a quite wealthy member of the upper middle classes or lower upper classes; the VERY rich may not even come near him. He is mostly dealing with the national and EU apparatchiks and their relatives.
The "real" middle class in the EU? What a nightmare. It is prohibitive to even own a car. People get cars with a "great job", and a "great" middle class job is lucky to pay 100 to 140k.

Twits like Krugman love the EU because it is a paradise for self appointed, Socialist intellectual elitists. In actual fact, if he grew up there, he would not have had the career that he had over here. This is a deep irony, particularly in his case--try undertaking a career as a Jewish academic/intellectual/pundit with the background that he has. in continental Europe.

THe only reason they listen to him at all is because he bashes America.

A reasonable truck driver in Oklahoma has a better material life than the real "middle classes" of the EU.

That is what many American liberals never seem to understand. The people who they are talking to over there are not the co-equals of our middle class, not the "real" middle class.

It is just this sort of narrow social pyramid that the limo-liberals want over here, and it is one of the major thrust of their "liberalism": To destroy the great, unwashed middle classes and to keep them from bettering themselves. Socialism, for the rich liberals, is just a dodge. (Oh and are they in for s surprise on that one.)

The thing is, that the EU upper classes get away with this by sponging of the USA and having really tough, though hidden, protectionism.

Real personal advance, outside of some gifted people brought into the Enarch or "Enarch like" systems, is almost impossible in the EU. A few make it in commerce, and they have to grease more than few palms and break more than a few laws to get there. Most are locked into the situation in which they are born into.

Even with all that, the EU will not be able to keep it up for very long, particularly with the USA out of their security picture.

The EU is devolving down to a Soft USSR.

We need to shun it; shun everything about the EU. It is suicide to emulate them.

Clarice

Yes, squaredance. Exactly.
A first rate surgeon in France gets about $50k salary and lives well on it only if he's inherited a lot from his family. Inheritance or corruption are the only paths upward for most.

Old Lurker

Jack, they can have my Sunday WaPo for the asking. Send me your in-laws mailing address.

Danube of Thought

When I see crap of that kind from the likes of Krugman, it always sends me scrambling to Google to resurface this gem from his fellow Nobel-winning statist, John Kenneth Galbraith:

"After one of his chummy sight-seeing tours of Moscow in 1984, the Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote an article about his trip for The New Yorker. The Soviet’s 'great material progress' impressed him, as did the look of 'solid well-being of the people on the streets.' He dismissed as groundless the rumors that were beginning to circulate that there was trouble in paradise. Although some commentators had suggested that the Soviet Union was in crisis, even 'in danger of collapse,' Galbraith brusquely dismissed such pessimism: 'This I strongly doubt.'”

I never, ever tire of that one. Once you have dreamed the statist dream, you cannot be awakened by reality.

Ari Tai

re: Paris. My goodness. Has he been to the north side of Paris recently? It's right up there with South West DC. If even the bad parts of NYC, Detroit or LA had the numbers of cars torched every night we'd label it an insurrection. The difference is the press doesn't cover it and their police and justice system aren't as PC as ours (one of the few benefits of the Napoleonic system.. nothing quite the judge being aligned with the prosecution, if not the prosecutor).

Would be wonderful to have someone publish the numbers that show our bottom quintile lives better, at least in terms of consumption and quality of goods available at any given price, than the 4th quintile in France, and matches in many ways the 3rd and in some ways the second (e.g. availability of something we take for granted, like air conditioning).

Joe Y

It's amazing what rhetoric can do.

Not being able to find work if you're under 25 or over 54? No problem! Turn it into: "...less likely than we are to work when young or old, but is that entirely a bad thing?" (by the way, the answer is, "Yes.")

US economic growth over 36% higher annually for 30 years? No problem! Turn it into: "All this really says is that we’ve had faster population growth...per capita real G.D.P...is what matters for living standards. (just don't put off dying before that low population growth wreck your economy, but unless you're one of those few, and getting fewer, people who are under 60, no worries.)

US per capita GDP is slightly over 6% a year higher than Europe's for almost 30 years? No problem! Turn it into: "Since 1980, per capita real G.D.P. — which is what matters for living standards — has risen at about the same rate in America and in the E.U. 15: 1.95 percent a year here; 1.83 percent there." (I guess they dropped the compound interest section of the Nobel Prize qualifying test.)

Rhetoric. Is there anything it can't do?

Ignatz

--his fellow Nobel-winning statist, John Kenneth Galbraith--

Actually DoT, I think John Kenneth Galbraith is one of only two or three economists of the last century who didn't receive a Nobel Prize.
Apparently thet do have some standards over there.

jimmyk

"All this really says is that we’ve had faster population growth."

That population growth is a response to the better economic and political conditions here (at least until 2008). It's immigration and higher fertility, both of which reflect optimism opportunity. They also result in a younger and lower-skilled population, which may adversely affect per capita GDP but should hardly count against America in favor of Europe.

Krugman once again proves that old adage about "Lies, damned lies, and statistics."

MayBee

Slublog tweets this link in response. How European countries would rank as US states.

Danube of Thought

I assume you're correct, Ignatz. I had some doubts myself, but was too slovenly to check. It's reassuring that he didn't, because he was much more a pop sociologist and polemicist than he was an actual economist.

Greg Q

Since 1980, per capita real G.D.P. — which is what matters for living standards — has risen at about the same rate in America and in the E.U. 15: 1.95 percent a year here; 1.83 percent there.

Well, now, let's whip out the old calculator:

1.83% growth for 28 years = 445% growth.
1.95% growth for 28 years = 664% growth.

IOW, thanks to that magic of compounding, since 1980 we've grown 50% more per person than has Europe.

Consistent little differences matter.

daddy

Krugman makes a good point in asking us to look at cities like Paris, but he doesn't look closely enough.

For instance, this ">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1240302/French-arsonists-torch-thousand-cars-New-Years-Eve--narrowly-missing-years-record.html"> UK MailOnLine Story tells is that "French arsonists torch over a thousand cars on New Year's Eve... narrowly missing last year's record."

Sure Disenfranchised youths burned 1,137 cars across France overnight on New Year's Eve, the French Interior Ministry tells us, plus over 400 in the City of Paris that night, but the part that Krugman is missing is the downturn from the previous year.
It was 10 short of last years record of 1,127 torched by disaffected youth on New Years Eve.

Obviously their incentive to get off the couch and burn stuff is down from 2008, so when Krugman looks at a Citrone surrounded by Muslim street gangs with torches, he sees a Citrone half full of lighter fluid, whereas I see a Citrone half empty.

And yes it is worth noting that 43,000 cars were torched in France for the year, averaging 118 per day, but the downturn that Krugman somehow missed means less cars will be needed to be replaced next year by French Auto-workers than last years, thus jobs will be lost, the economy will continue to drop, and all because disaffected French youths are failing to live up to the standards that perceptive visitors like myself have come to count on in the environs of Paris.

So point taken TM, and another black eye for Krugman's observation of how well Europe is working as compared to America. Perhaps we need to import more angry Muslim youth to even the balance.

jimmyk

thanks to that magic of compounding

Greg, you must have borrowed that calculator from Peter Orszag. My calculations say:
1.83% for 28 years: 66.16% total growth
1.95% for 28 years: 71.73% total growth

for a roughly 5.5% difference.

28 years isn't that long of a sample, and it wouldn't surprise me if the numbers were notably different with different start and end dates. And is there any doubt that Krugman would have chosen the dates that least favor the U.S.?

Greg Q

JimmyK

I used 1.83^28. What did you use?

More importantly, Krugman ignores the sources of population growth, when blathering about GDP / pop.

Americans have more children than Europeans. and immigrants tend to have lower wages than people who were born here. When a family of 5 sees their income growing 20% faster than a family of 4 (and that family of 4 has their income growing twice as fast as a couple with no kids), that's not an indication that "everyone is equally well off." But that, essentially, is what Krugman is arguing.

JM Hanes

The Ritz in Boston is nice too.

jimmyk

100*(1.0183^28-1)

But I agree with your points, as is clear from my upthread ramblings. Krugman is an embarrassment.

Mockingbird

For a real Nobel Prize economist look up Dr Milton Friedman.

Senator John Kerry

It is well known that Europe has better culture and better food than America's urban sprawl could ever hope to produce. And apparently they have much looser sexual standards on prime time TV, and are more accepting of mistresses.

Oh, and intellectual curiosity is not only welcomed, it is rewarded.

Point- Europe! I say.

Danube of Thought

Rasmussen this afternoon: Coakley 49, Brown 47.

cathyf

jimmyk, you underestimated a tad,

e^(28 * 0.0195) = 1.72633385
e^(28 * 0.0183) = 1.66929269

A difference of about 8.5%...

anduril

Steve Sailer has an excellent article in which he explains Why Paul Krugman makes excuses for George W. Bush

Here's a snapshot:

All those boring end-of-year / end-of-decade articles that journalists phone in so that they can take the last week of the year off are finally over.

But here’s something that was missing from all of those summaries: a hidden key to understanding the two seminal events of the last decade—9/11 and the economic collapse.

The factor linking the two big stories of the 2000s: George W. Bush’s sizable degree of culpability in both disasters:

* Bush had Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta eradicate the airport security ethnic profiling system before 9/11. (Then he reappointed Mineta, a Democrat, for his second term!).

* Bush repeatedly signaled the mortgage industry in 2002-2004 that zero down payment home purchases would be A-OK with his federal regulators.

Of course, those are by no means the only causes of the subsequent disasters. But shouldn’t we at least talk about them?

And what links Bush’s two blunders?

George W. Bush’s Commitment to Diversity.

Bush explicitly articulated that he was fighting airline security and traditional credit standards in the sacred cause of battling racial inequality.

Was he lying? I’ve never seen any evidence that Bush wasn’t the truest true believer in Diversity. His immigration bills, No Child Left Behind—it all testifies to his naiveté. Compared to Bush, Obama is practically Lee Kwan Yew for worldliness.

Republicans don’t want to talk about Bush’s blunders because Bush was a Republican. Democrats don’t want to talk about Bush blunders because they want to make more blunders like them.

Yet how are we supposed to learn from mistakes if nobody will mention them?

kevin

What I realy like about Paris is the fact that "The unemployed imigrant Youths", torch over 1000 automobiles per night, (and upwards of 2500 at times such as new years eve), thus providing full employment opertunities at RENOULT, and PEUGOT. Not to mention all the jobs created at the insurance agencies. (provided people can afford the massive premium costs).

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