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Prosperity Myth
Topic: Trying (Futilely) To Keep Up
Posted by Everyman - 12:21:08 EDT

It is generally understood in some quarters - and I have the relatives who live there to prove it - that although the tax rates in Scandanavia, and in much of Europe, are daunting, the quality of life there makes it all worthwhile.

Maybe not, even by their own reckoning:

Scandinavians believe they live in a welfare state that's about as close to utopia as it's possible to be. They're wrong:

All this was illuminated last year in a study by a Swedish research organization, Timbro, which compared the gross domestic products of the 15 European Union members (before the 2004 expansion) with those of the 50 American states and the District of Columbia. (Norway, not being a member of the union, was not included.)

After adjusting the figures for the different purchasing powers of the dollar and euro, the only European country whose economic output per person was greater than the United States average was the tiny tax haven of Luxembourg, which ranked third, just behind Delaware and slightly ahead of Connecticut.

The next European country on the list was Ireland, down at 41st place out of 66; Sweden was 14th from the bottom (after Alabama), followed by Oklahoma, and then Britain, France, Finland, Germany and Italy. The bottom three spots on the list went to Spain, Portugal and Greece.

As I've said before.

More On The Subject

As so frequently happens, I write something, then I go into my personal blogroll - over there on the left - and come upon some similar thoughts from those whose thinking I appreciate.

So this, from Vodkapundit, should be added, even though - honest - I read him only after writing down my own thoughts:

Alternatively, the study found, if the E.U. was treated as a single American state, it would rank fifth from the bottom, topping only Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi.

As a native of Alabama and current resident of Georgia, I must admit that I take no small satisfaction in the last. Continuing:

In short, while Scandinavians are constantly told how much better they have it than Americans, Timbro's statistics suggest otherwise. So did a paper by a Swedish economics writer, Johan Norberg.

Contrasting "the American dream" with "the European daydream," Mr. Norberg described the difference: "Economic growth in the last 25 years has been 3 percent per annum in the U.S., compared to 2.2 percent in the E.U. That means that the American economy has almost doubled, whereas the E.U. economy has grown by slightly more than half. The purchasing power in the U.S. is $36,100 per capita, and in the E.U. $26,000 - and the gap is constantly widening."

As I've said before.


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