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Old 03-12-2014, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong / Vienna
4,557 posts, read 5,124,583 times
Reputation: 3919

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon010181 View Post
I'm going by data from the March 8th Economist. Regardless, I disagree with the notion that it is a worse figure considering a higher population. It is much more difficult to manage unemployment in a country of 317M or 40x the size a country with the same unemployment % like Germany with a population of 8M.

If you want to look at the economies more relative I suggest per capita GDP - USA has $54,609 per capita GDP (8th) versus $40,757 per capita GDP in Germany (18th), for example. Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden all fair better than the US but the rest of Europe (and the large majority of the EU population) fairs much worse.
I thought about bringing up the Gini Index and how only a small fraction of the US's population actually profits from that high GDP.

But then I thought this discussion is a lost cause anyway.

 
Old 03-12-2014, 04:32 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,391,899 times
Reputation: 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon010181 View Post
I'm going by data from the March 8th Economist. Regardless, I disagree with the notion that it is a worse figure considering a higher population. It is much more difficult to manage unemployment in a country of 317M or 40x the size a country with the same unemployment % like Germany with a population of 8M.
Why?

When it comes to socio-economic policies, the states of the US are almost as sovereign as the Member States of the EU. I don't see why unemployment in, say, California would be more difficult to manage than unemployment in Germany. If anything, the US has an advantage in this regard because the (perceived) boundaries to move to another state are far less significant than the (perceived) boundaries Europeans face when moving to another Member State. Since European countries are much smaller, the economic diversity within these countries is worse too. Americans are well-known to be far more mobile in this regard than Europeans.

Quote:
If you want to look at the economies more relative I suggest per capita GDP - USA has $54,609 per capita GDP (8th) versus $40,757 per capita GDP in Germany (18th), for example. Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden all fair better than the US but the rest of Europe (and the large majority of the EU population) fairs much worse.
GDP per capita has very little to do with personal income. GDP per capita is just the sum of all output in a country divided by the population. It doesn't take into account factors like income inequality or cost of living, which have a significant effect on the standard of living in a country. One way to adjust for COL is to use the GDP per capita (PPP) index, which shows the following:

1. Qatar ($100,889)
2. Luxembourg ($77,958)
3. Singapore ($60,799)
4. Norway ($54,397)
5. Brunei ($54,114)
6. United States ($51,704)
- Hong Kong ($50,936)
7. Switzerland ($44,864)
8. San Marino ($42,724)

9. Canada ($42,317)
10. Australia ($41,908)
11. Austria ($41,908)
12. Netherlands ($41,527)
13. Ireland ($40,716)
14. Sweden ($40,304)

15. Kuwait ($39,874)
16. Iceland ($39,718)
17. Germany ($38,666)

18. Taiwan ($38,400)
19. Belgium ($37,459)
20. Denmark ($37,324)


^ Data comes from the IMF (2012/2013).

Furthermore, like I said, you have to consider the income inequality in a country. For example:

Country A: one person makes $1 million and nine people make $1000
Country B: all ten people make $100,000

In this case, country A would have a higher GDP per capita but the average person is better off in country B. Income inequality is measured by the Gini coefficient. It's a number between 0 and 1 (or 0% and 100%) - the higher the number, the greater the inequality. Let's compare the European countries above with the US:

Denmark: 0.248
Norway: 0.250
Sweden: 0.259
Belgium: 0.259
Austria: 0.261
Luxembourg: 0.288
Ireland: 0.293
Netherlands: 0.294
Germany: 0.295
Iceland: 0.301
Switzerland: 0.303
United States: 0.378

^ Data comes from the OECD (late 2000s - most recent data).

While a difference of 0.1 between the US and most other countries may not seem that significant, it reflects quite a strong difference in income inequality in reality. Note that all but 9 countries in the world have a Gini coefficient below 0.55.

Taking this into account, I highly doubt that the standard of living for the average person in any of the above European countries is that much lower than in the US. Every person in these countries has access to the basic necessities (education, health care, housing, food). While wages are generally lower here than in the US, we get more holidays, a higher minimum wage, guaranteed paid maternity leave and stronger workers' rights in return. Most people I know would gladly earn a little less if it means they have more free time to spend with family and friends. There's only so much "stuff" you can buy. And trust me: the average European has plenty of money left to spend on stuff they don't really need.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,524 posts, read 2,264,211 times
Reputation: 2168
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
Why?

When it comes to socio-economic policies, the states of the US are almost as sovereign as the Member States of the EU. I don't see why unemployment in, say, California would be more difficult to manage than unemployment in Germany. If anything, the US has an advantage in this regard because the (perceived) boundaries to move to another state are far less significant than the (perceived) boundaries Europeans face when moving to another Member State. Since European countries are much smaller, the economic diversity within these countries is worse too. Americans are well-known to be far more mobile in this regard than Europeans.



GDP per capita has very little to do with personal income. GDP per capita is just the sum of all output in a country divided by the population. It doesn't take into account factors like income inequality or cost of living, which have a significant effect on the standard of living in a country. One way to adjust for COL is to use the GDP per capita (PPP) index, which shows the following:

1. Qatar ($100,889)
2. Luxembourg ($77,958)
3. Singapore ($60,799)
4. Norway ($54,397)
5. Brunei ($54,114)
6. United States ($51,704)
- Hong Kong ($50,936)
7. Switzerland ($44,864)
8. San Marino ($42,724)

9. Canada ($42,317)
10. Australia ($41,908)
11. Austria ($41,908)
12. Netherlands ($41,527)
13. Ireland ($40,716)
14. Sweden ($40,304)

15. Kuwait ($39,874)
16. Iceland ($39,718)
17. Germany ($38,666)

18. Taiwan ($38,400)
19. Belgium ($37,459)
20. Denmark ($37,324)


^ Data comes from the IMF (2012/2013).

Furthermore, like I said, you have to consider the income inequality in a country. For example:

Country A: one person makes $1 million and nine people make $1000
Country B: all ten people make $100,000

In this case, country A would have a higher GDP per capita but the average person is better off in country B. Income inequality is measured by the Gini coefficient. It's a number between 0 and 1 (or 0% and 100%) - the higher the number, the greater the inequality. Let's compare the European countries above with the US:

Denmark: 0.248
Norway: 0.250
Sweden: 0.259
Belgium: 0.259
Austria: 0.261
Luxembourg: 0.288
Ireland: 0.293
Netherlands: 0.294
Germany: 0.295
Iceland: 0.301
Switzerland: 0.303
United States: 0.378

^ Data comes from the OECD (late 2000s - most recent data).

While a difference of 0.1 between the US and most other countries may not seem that significant, it reflects quite a strong difference in income inequality in reality. Note that all but 9 countries in the world have a Gini coefficient below 0.55.

Taking this into account, I highly doubt that the standard of living for the average person in any of the above European countries is that much lower than in the US. Every person in these countries has access to the basic necessities (education, health care, housing, food). While wages are generally lower here than in the US, we get more holidays, a higher minimum wage, guaranteed paid maternity leave and stronger workers' rights in return. Most people I know would gladly earn a little less if it means they have more free time to spend with family and friends. There's only so much "stuff" you can buy. And trust me: the average European has plenty of money left to spend on stuff they don't really need.
A good rationalization, but The Economist has also already clearly demonstrated that the average American (not billionaires) taking inequality into account is better off than the average WEst European. The poorest Americans are still better off than the poorest German/Briton/Swiss, while the richest Americans are also richer than the richest German/Briton/Swiss. This is why the number of people from European countries immigrating to the US always outweighs Americans moving to the same European countries, despite having smaller populations. People follow the money, and many people would prefer to pay half for necessities like their house or groceries. There is just no economic argument to be made here.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 07:32 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,942 posts, read 4,391,899 times
Reputation: 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbesdj View Post
A good rationalization, but The Economist has also already clearly demonstrated that the average American (not billionaires) taking inequality into account is better off than the average WEst European. The poorest Americans are still better off than the poorest German/Briton/Swiss, while the richest Americans are also richer than the richest German/Briton/Swiss. This is why the number of people from European countries immigrating to the US always outweighs Americans moving to the same European countries, despite having smaller populations. People follow the money, and many people would prefer to pay half for necessities like their house or groceries. There is just no economic argument to be made here.
Of course the personal income in the US is higher on average. I didn't claim otherwise. All I said is that the difference is not significant enough to claim that the standard of living in these European countries is "much worse" than in the US. Like I said, Americans may be able to buy more "stuff" but not everyone values their quality of life this way. Most Europeans, especially in W/C Europe, earn enough to live a comfortable lifestyle without having to worry about the basic necessities of life (education, health care, housing, food).

I doubt that a higher income is the only reason more Europeans move to the US than vice versa. Americans may be more hesitant to move to continental Europe because they don't speak the language, because they're not as familiar with European countries, because it's extremely difficult to get a permanent residence permit as a non-EU citizen, because they're not as open to foreign cultures, etc. The US obviously draws a lot of interest from people around the world, whether good or bad, so it's not surprising that some decide to want to experience living there for themselves. Australia attracts the same kind of fascination and I know a lot of Europeans move there as well, even though the standard of living is comparable to those European countries. Still, the number of Europeans who move abroad is only a tiny fraction of the total population. The vast majority would never consider migrating to another country.

Btw, you don't pay twice as much for groceries in Europe. It's just not true. I've met quite a few American expats and exchange students and one thing they always comment on (when we discuss their experiences here) is how much cheaper fresh fruits and vegetables are here compared to the US. A lot of Americans have this outdated stereotype that Europeans buy their meat from the butcher, bread at the bakery, fruit at the farmer's market, etc. but that's not true for most people. Most Europeans buy their groceries at a major supermarket; usually they combine a discount supermarket (Aldi, LIDL) for the basic stuff and a so-called "A-brand" supermarket for the more luxurious or exclusive products. I never spend more than 30,00 a week on groceries for myself and I prepare nice meals (I love to cook). You can get by on a lot less than that if you have to (I did as a student). The only things that are significantly cheaper in the US are fast food and canned food but I'll let you have that
 
Old 03-12-2014, 07:37 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,718,331 times
Reputation: 9029
If you HAD to move to the United States or Canada which State/Province/Region would you move to?
 
Old 03-12-2014, 10:34 PM
 
4,668 posts, read 6,116,267 times
Reputation: 5840
Quote:
Originally Posted by drro View Post
We have lived in the US for some time and moved back here. The US is worse in just about anything: job market, employee rights, healthcare, price and quality of groceries and food, quality of housing, lots of urban decay, overall worse quality of consumer products, no infrastructure for public transportation, cycling or walking.

Actually, the worst is despite the overall friendliness of the Americans, everyone is trying to rip you off. In stores, when trying to rent a place, when trying to buy a car, when applying for a job. And we hated the urban sprawl and large distances overall. Every small daily errand takes a long time to do because of the huge distances.

Quality of live is just much better over here in Europe. I will never move to the US or even visit it again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
>lived in Texas
>is an expert on everywhere in the US, as if it as homogenous unit


 
Old 03-13-2014, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Pueblo, CO
466 posts, read 910,712 times
Reputation: 283
Default you are so right

Quote:
Originally Posted by drro View Post
We have lived in the US for some time and moved back here. The US is worse in just about anything: job market, employee rights, healthcare, price and quality of groceries and food, quality of housing, lots of urban decay, overall worse quality of consumer products, no infrastructure for public transportation, cycling or walking.

Actually, the worst is despite the overall friendliness of the Americans, everyone is trying to rip you off. In stores, when trying to rent a place, when trying to buy a car, when applying for a job. And we hated the urban sprawl and large distances overall. Every small daily errand takes a long time to do because of the huge distances.

Quality of live is just much better over here in Europe. I will never move to the US or even visit it again.
I moved from Germany to the US (I fell in love with an American) in 2005 and feel the same like you. I don't think you are in your right mind to move from a West European country to the US. I also lived in The Netherlands (part of my family is dutch) and live also in Great Britain. Much better countries for living quality than America. I live in Oregon and it is a beautiful state though, but the quality of life we are use to in Western Europe.... I miss it so much.
 
Old 03-13-2014, 02:56 AM
 
1 posts, read 880 times
Reputation: 10
Dont come to america especially Detroit.

Last edited by marooki2010; 03-13-2014 at 03:20 AM..
 
Old 03-13-2014, 04:11 AM
 
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
11,265 posts, read 13,161,992 times
Reputation: 13467
Quote:
Originally Posted by marooki2010 View Post
Dont come to america especially Detroit.


Random slap in the face for no reason.


Detroit is a great city.
 
Old 03-13-2014, 05:17 AM
 
1,954 posts, read 1,945,872 times
Reputation: 1755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dport7674 View Post
We lived in another state as well and spend longer periods of time in even more places in different states. What I wrote is my impression of the US, not just of Austin, TX.

Actually, Austin is a pretty nice place overall for American standards. However, it suffers a lot from urban sprawl and way too large distances to get to just about anything. We just hated that and strongly prefer compact European cities. Austin has a few pretty dodgy areas too like parts of East, South Austin or places like North Lamar.
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