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Congrats to Canada for having wealthiest middle class in world

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  • #46
    For years Americans have assumed that our hard-charging capitalism is better than the soft-hearted version found in Canada and Europe. American capitalism might be a bit crueler but it generates faster growth and higher living standards overall. Canada's and Europe's "welfare-state socialism" is doomed.

    It was a questionable assumption to begin with, relying to some extent on our collective amnesia about the first three decades after World War II, when tax rates on top incomes in the U.S. never fell below 70 percent, a larger portion of our economy was invested in education than before or since, over a third of our private-sector workers were unionized, we came up with Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor, and built the biggest infrastructure project in history, known as the interstate highway system.

    But then came America's big U-turn, when we deregulated, de-unionized, lowered taxes on the top, ended welfare, and stopped investing as much of the economy in education and infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, Canada and Europe continued on as before. Soviet communism went bust, and many of us assumed European and Canadian "socialism" would as well.

    That's why recent data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database is so shocking.

    The fact is, we're falling behind. While median per capita income in the United States has stagnated since 2000, it's up significantly in Canada and Northern Europe. Their typical worker's income is now higher than ours, and their disposable income -- after taxes -- higher still.

    It's difficult to make exact comparisons of income across national borders because real purchasing power is hard to measure. But even if we assume Canadians and the citizens of several European nations have simply drawn even with the American middle class, they're doing better in many other ways.

    Most of them get free health care and subsidized child care. And if they lose their jobs, they get far more generous unemployment benefits than we do. (In fact, right now 75 percent of jobless Americans lack any unemployment benefits.)

    If you think we make up for it by working less and getting paid more on an hourly basis, think again. There, at least three weekspaid vacation is the norm, along with paid sick leave, and paid parental leave.

    We're working an average of 4.6 percent more hours more than the typical Canadian worker, 21 percent more than the typical French worker, and a whopping 28 percent more than your typical German worker, according to data compiled by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

    But at least Americans are more satisfied, aren't we? Not really. According to opinion surveys and interviews, Canadians and Northern Europeans are.

    They also live longer, their rate of infant mortality is lower, and women in these countries are far less likely to die as result of complications in pregnancy or childbirth.

    But at least we're the land of more equal opportunity, right? Wrong. Their poor kids have a better chance of getting ahead. While 42 percent of American kids born into poor families remain poor through their adult lives, only 30 percent of Britain's poor kids remain impoverished -- and even smaller percentages in other rich countries.

    Yes, the American economy continues to grow faster than the economies of Canada and Europe. But faster growth hasn't translated into higher living standards for most Americans.

    Almost all our economic gains have been going to the top -- into corporate profits and the stock market (more than a third of whose value is owned by the richest 1 percent). And into executive pay (European CEOs take home far less than their American counterparts).

    America's rich also pay much lower taxes than do the rich in Canada and Europe.

    But surely Europe can't go on like this. You hear it all the time: They can no longer afford their welfare state.

    That depends on what's meant by "welfare state." If high-quality education is included, we'd do well to emulate them. Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 rank near the bottom among rich countries in literacy and numeracy. That spells trouble for the U.S. economy in the future.

    They're also doing more workforce training, and doing it better, than we are. The result is more skilled workers.

    Universal health care is another part of their "welfare state" that saves them money because healthier workers are more productive.

    So let's put ideology aside. The practical choice isn't between capitalism and "welfare-state socialism." It's between a system that's working for a few at the top, or one that's working for just about everyone. Which would you prefer?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert...b_5364299.html

    Throw in the derivatives crimes of 2008 and you have probably the greatest rip-off in history. And nobody got prosecuted! It's a miracle.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Rohirrim View Post
      For years Americans have assumed that our hard-charging capitalism is better than the soft-hearted version found in Canada and Europe. American capitalism might be a bit crueler but it generates faster growth and higher living standards overall. Canada's and Europe's "welfare-state socialism" is doomed.

      It was a questionable assumption to begin with, relying to some extent on our collective amnesia about the first three decades after World War II, when tax rates on top incomes in the U.S. never fell below 70 percent, a larger portion of our economy was invested in education than before or since, over a third of our private-sector workers were unionized, we came up with Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor, and built the biggest infrastructure project in history, known as the interstate highway system.

      But then came America's big U-turn, when we deregulated, de-unionized, lowered taxes on the top, ended welfare, and stopped investing as much of the economy in education and infrastructure.

      Meanwhile, Canada and Europe continued on as before. Soviet communism went bust, and many of us assumed European and Canadian "socialism" would as well.

      That's why recent data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database is so shocking.

      The fact is, we're falling behind. While median per capita income in the United States has stagnated since 2000, it's up significantly in Canada and Northern Europe. Their typical worker's income is now higher than ours, and their disposable income -- after taxes -- higher still.

      It's difficult to make exact comparisons of income across national borders because real purchasing power is hard to measure. But even if we assume Canadians and the citizens of several European nations have simply drawn even with the American middle class, they're doing better in many other ways.

      Most of them get free health care and subsidized child care. And if they lose their jobs, they get far more generous unemployment benefits than we do. (In fact, right now 75 percent of jobless Americans lack any unemployment benefits.)

      If you think we make up for it by working less and getting paid more on an hourly basis, think again. There, at least three weekspaid vacation is the norm, along with paid sick leave, and paid parental leave.

      We're working an average of 4.6 percent more hours more than the typical Canadian worker, 21 percent more than the typical French worker, and a whopping 28 percent more than your typical German worker, according to data compiled by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

      But at least Americans are more satisfied, aren't we? Not really. According to opinion surveys and interviews, Canadians and Northern Europeans are.

      They also live longer, their rate of infant mortality is lower, and women in these countries are far less likely to die as result of complications in pregnancy or childbirth.

      But at least we're the land of more equal opportunity, right? Wrong. Their poor kids have a better chance of getting ahead. While 42 percent of American kids born into poor families remain poor through their adult lives, only 30 percent of Britain's poor kids remain impoverished -- and even smaller percentages in other rich countries.

      Yes, the American economy continues to grow faster than the economies of Canada and Europe. But faster growth hasn't translated into higher living standards for most Americans.

      Almost all our economic gains have been going to the top -- into corporate profits and the stock market (more than a third of whose value is owned by the richest 1 percent). And into executive pay (European CEOs take home far less than their American counterparts).

      America's rich also pay much lower taxes than do the rich in Canada and Europe.

      But surely Europe can't go on like this. You hear it all the time: They can no longer afford their welfare state.

      That depends on what's meant by "welfare state." If high-quality education is included, we'd do well to emulate them. Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 rank near the bottom among rich countries in literacy and numeracy. That spells trouble for the U.S. economy in the future.

      They're also doing more workforce training, and doing it better, than we are. The result is more skilled workers.

      Universal health care is another part of their "welfare state" that saves them money because healthier workers are more productive.

      So let's put ideology aside. The practical choice isn't between capitalism and "welfare-state socialism." It's between a system that's working for a few at the top, or one that's working for just about everyone. Which would you prefer?

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert...b_5364299.html

      Throw in the derivatives crimes of 2008 and you have probably the greatest rip-off in history. And nobody got prosecuted! It's a miracle.
      I was told our new Green (3rd World) economy was going to deliver us from all these problems.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by BroncoBeavis View Post
        I was told our new Green (3rd World) economy was going to deliver us from all these problems.
        Once again, your reading comprehension problems bubble to the surface. What he is saying is that the Right Wing revolution that started under Raygun has been an abject failure and has ruined America (except for those at the top who have profited mightily from picking the bones of a once great country). Since you are still in middle school, you have never known anything else and are unable to judge. Fortunately, for the ideologues on the Right, evidence doesn't matter. Their response to such evidence? More tax breaks for the rich and more deregulation!

        Comment


        • #49
          It's comedy on a grand scale. Remember what a boob Raygun was? Always being caught in off the cuff moments saying things which were so stupid you wondered how early the old Alzheimers had kicked in. The Right Wingers celebrating as Raygun doled out 50% tax cuts to the rich and selling the yokels on the idea that the wealth would "trickle down" and make us all richer. Instead, the rich said, "Thanks for the dough, Ron. We'll be down in our vaults in the Cayman Islands counting it."

          "But wait," says Ron. "Aren't you going to reinvest it?"

          "Sure we are, Ron," say the fatcats. "But not here. We'll get a better return offshore. Adios, amigo. Thanks for the memories."

          And the dumb yokels are sitting in the sun, waiting for the trickle down to begin.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Rohirrim View Post
            Once again, your reading comprehension problems bubble to the surface. What he is saying is that the Right Wing revolution that started under Raygun has been an abject failure and has ruined America (except for those at the top who have profited mightily from picking the bones of a once great country). Since you are still in middle school, you have never known anything else and are unable to judge. Fortunately, for the ideologues on the Right, evidence doesn't matter. Their response to such evidence? More tax breaks for the rich and more deregulation!
            It's laughable that you think one Party Suit or another sitting in the Oval Office is pretty much the whole reason for America's industrial decline.

            Especially when you're essentially anti-industry in the first place.

            America was a smoke-billowin' world-pollutin' monster back in your supposed golden years. But as usual, you cry about the speed of the cart without remembering that we just spent the last 40 years eating the horse.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by BroncoBeavis View Post
              I was told our new Green (3rd World) economy was going to deliver us from all these problems.
              What green economy. THe GOP puts up roadblocks on every corner. How about we take those billions of dollars in oil subsides and transfer them into green energy.

              You know the Koch brothers are from Kansas and they run that state. They have been trying for years to get rid of wind energy in Kansas but even those conservative Republican people un there love it too much and the Brothers have been defeated time and time again. You see it is not that green energy doesn't work it is being sabotaged by stupid ass republicans at every turn.

              Koch Brother Fronts Flood into Kansas to Attack Wind Industry – REPORT

              States around the country, including Texas, Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina are poised to cut back on government support for clean energy jobs using model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC, which brings companies together with state lawmakers to forge a wish list of corporate state laws behind closed doors, is coordinating this year’s assault on state laws that require a gradual increase of electricity generated by clean energy sources.

              This fossil fuel-funded attack ignores the good that wind energy has done for Kansas, a state known for its bipartisan support for its growing wind industry (see key report by Polsinelli Shughart). The state now has 19 operating wind farms that have brought millions to farmers leasing their land and millions more to the state, county and local levels (NRDC). The American Wind Energy Association says that Kansas wind industry jobs have grown to 13,000 with the help of incentives like the renewable portfolio standard.

              Unfortunately, clean energy is not palatable to the billionaire Koch brothers or the influence peddlers they finance. All of the following State Policy Network affiliates (except the Kansas Policy Institute) are directly funded by the Koch brothers, while most of the groups get secretive grants through the Koch-affiliated “Dark Money ATM,” Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, which have distributed over $120,000,000 to 100 groups involved in climate denial since 2002.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Guess Who View Post
                What green economy. THe GOP puts up roadblocks on every corner. How about we take those billions of dollars in oil subsides and transfer them into green energy.
                The Republican Party has never had the kind of majorities in Congress Democrats had in 2009. If Democrats couldn't get it done, it's because either their ideas don't work, or they just don't know how to enact them.

                Takes me back to Pelosi's big promise of lower gas prices when she was campaigning in 2006. She said she had a plan to lower prices. Then she took control, and "the plan" never saw the light of day. (Because it was a fiction in the first place.) Meanwhile, prices went nowhere but up.

                All politicians sell you on the fantasmical promise, then you resort to blame their political opposition when they fail to do what they never really intended to do in the first place.

                The Billions in 'oil subsides' are mythological. Mostly what it is is "We give you the same tax exemptions every other business gets, but we don't have to!"

                In other words, yanking their 'subsides' in the real world looks more like taxing them extra. But if you want to solve all of it, go flat on the taxes. Let's see our lovely politicians give up all the leverage they have for campaign donations once they can't hand-pick tax code winners and losers anymore.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Rohirrim View Post
                  It's comedy on a grand scale. Remember what a boob Raygun was? Always being caught in off the cuff moments saying things which were so stupid you wondered how early the old Alzheimers had kicked in. The Right Wingers celebrating as Raygun doled out 50% tax cuts to the rich and selling the yokels on the idea that the wealth would "trickle down" and make us all richer. Instead, the rich said, "Thanks for the dough, Ron. We'll be down in our vaults in the Cayman Islands counting it."

                  "But wait," says Ron. "Aren't you going to reinvest it?"

                  "Sure we are, Ron," say the fatcats. "But not here. We'll get a better return offshore. Adios, amigo. Thanks for the memories."

                  And the dumb yokels are sitting in the sun, waiting for the trickle down to begin.
                  The govt has to reform the corp tax code. Until we modernize it we can't get any revenue off the profits made offshore. I agree with conservatives that 30% is too much but some of that money has to come home. Right now it doesn't. They need to split the corp tax code like other modern countries do. One rate for domestic, one for corp. But the law would force some of that money home. It has to happen.

                  I have heard repubs and dems talk about it but they never do anything. I don't get it.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    What makes anyone think green energy jobs will create more jobs or make more revenue then drilling all our oil?

                    Trying to reduce co2 won't make the economy stronger. How could it when green energy costs more to produce then natural gas or coal?

                    Comment

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