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Old 06-28-2013, 01:51 PM
 
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True that have GDP in line with developed country statuses but when countries become effectively bankrupt or unable to sustain themselves, there will need to be massive (almost unrealistic and politically sucicidal) austerity measures put in place to get the books in order. This means a degradation of current services and hence lifestyle and does not provide stimulus for positive growth.

Yes, it looks like Italy and Spain are a step over Greece and Portugal. But Greece/Portugal have a GDP/capita of $25-26K. This is very much on the low end of other undisputable first world countries and very similar to the group of: Slovenia $27K, Czech $26k, Trinidad $25k, Slovakia $24K and Saudi Arabia $24K. And I'm not sure if every country in this list of comparables is universally accepted as a first world country. So this coupled with weak GDP, no to declining growth, budgets and economies that cannot stand on their own two feet without bailouts by the EU -- there may be an argument that (mainly Greece and Portugal) may not be first world countries or may not be at some point.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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The US is not in a much better situation, China etc. are its bailout providers.

Saudi Arabia is much less developed than Portugal. The Saudis tend to simply buy reputation instead of earning it. I read for instance that the Saudi universities that have recently surfaced in the university ranking have paid Western researchers a lot of money to show up just once per term and include their supposed affiliation with the respective university in all papers published.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
They say Portugal and Greece are poor countries with rich people. Or is it the other way around?
Unfortunately Portugal is a bit similar to the US in that it has a poor Gini index, i.e. there is a sharp contrast between the rich and the poor, unlike in Scandinavia. So yes, there are filthy rich people here as well, not just poor ones...
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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you think the united states has a poor Gini index? When removing the outliers (richest of the rich and poorest of the poor), we have one of the strongest, if not the strongest, middle classes in the world. Our Gini score is around 45, which is great if you ask me!

Wouldn't a score closer to 0 indicate socialist principals and a score closer to 100 indicate barbarianism? I think a middle ground score (40 to 60) best represents free market capitalism, which is arguably the greatest path for prosperity.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:03 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCali4LifeSD View Post
you think the united states has a poor Gini index? When removing the outliers (richest of the rich and poorest of the poor), we have one of the strongest, if not the strongest, middle classes in the world. Our Gini score is around 45, which is great if you ask me!

Wouldn't a score closer to 0 indicate socialist principals and a score closer to 100 indicate barbarianism? I think a middle ground score (40 to 60) best represents free market capitalism, which is arguably the greatest path for prosperity.
That is the very point. There are a whole lot of outliers in countries with a poor Gini index. Which is why in such countries the middle class is anything but strong. A Gini index like they have one in Denmark or Sweden is by far preferable to the way things are down here.

Interesting map:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...hed_legend.gif

The US has a similar Gini index as communist China
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCali4LifeSD View Post
you think the united states has a poor Gini index? When removing the outliers (richest of the rich and poorest of the poor), we have one of the strongest, if not the strongest, middle classes in the world. Our Gini score is around 45, which is great if you ask me!

Wouldn't a score closer to 0 indicate socialist principals and a score closer to 100 indicate barbarianism? I think a middle ground score (40 to 60) best represents free market capitalism, which is arguably the greatest path for prosperity.
Having a low GINI coefficient isn't necessarily a good thing as poor countries like Mongolia will not have a very large divide between the well-off and the poor and most people are just 'poor' with few people well-off, whereas the US obviously has a much bigger divide between the rich and poor but a strong middle-class. However, I think Norway and Sweden are good models to follow, with most people being relatively equal and well off, rather than having ostentatious displays of wealth, or severe poverty on a widespread basis.

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Old 06-28-2013, 03:12 PM
 
Location: San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
That is the very point. There are a whole lot of outliers in countries with a poor Gini index. Which is why in such countries the middle class is anything but strong. A Gini index like they have one in Denmark or Sweden is by far preferable to the way things are down here.

Interesting map:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...hed_legend.gif

The US has a similar Gini index as communist China
I'm actually very surprised that China has a middle ground Gini score similar to the USA. Then again, they are mimicking America's capital structure after all. I see what you're talking about regarding Scandinavian countries, which have scores between 20 and 30. These countries are without a doubt among the most advanced in the civilized world but each of these countries have a population of around 5 million vs. the USA's behemoth 315 million and China's 1.375 billion people, which is much more difficult to manage. The point I'm trying to stress is that America and China have more room for upward mobility and income growth potential whereas Scandinavian nation's have little upward mobility and income growth potential. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but America is known for its rags to riches fairy tale endings.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCali4LifeSD View Post
I'm actually very surprised that China has a middle ground Gini score similar to the USA. Then again, they are mimicking America's capital structure after all. I see what you're talking about regarding Scandinavian countries, which have scores between 20 and 30. These countries are without a doubt among the most advanced in the civilized world but each of these countries have a population of around 5 million vs. the USA's behemoth 315 million and China's 1.375 billion people, which is much more difficult to manage. The point I'm trying to stress is that America and China have more room for upward mobility and income growth potential whereas Scandinavian nation's have little upward mobility and income growth potential. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but America is known for its rags to riches fairy tale endings.
I don't think it has to do with size, but attitude and mentality. After all, Germany with its 80+m people has a much lower index than small countries such as Portugal.

And what is potential good for, when it is just a theory? I mean those conditions have been around for a long time, so the potential obviously has not led to an improved Gini index. Plus, I have read that social mobility is actually bigger in Scandinavia than in the US.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
There are parts in those countries that might be more typical of developing countries. But those are usually remote hinterland regions where young people have moved away from. The bulk of people in all those countries live in cities, which of course are first-world.
It's not that in Germany or the US or Japan there are no abandoned places. Go to some parts of Eastern Germany, it can be quite gloomy. So are parts of the US.
Tiny Portugal is even ahead of Germany in some infrastructure, the fiber optics network for instance is way more elaborate and advanced in Portugal. So is 4G.
Ah, don't believe this Neuling fellow!

Every week we're lined up in the praça fighting over food packages delivered by the Zambian Red Cross.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:58 PM
 
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Italy is first world, especially in the north. Spain is 2nd world. And portugal and Greece are 3rd world especially now after austerity. Sure they have some rich people there but most people are dying to get out of those sinking ship countries.
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