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"I'm not afraid to say European socialism works." - comedian Bill Maher
I apologize for quoting someone as trivial as Bill Maher, but his view that European socialism works is one I hear all the time from those on the political left. They seem to actually believe it. They point to things like Great Brittain's nationalized healthcare system as proof. They cite reports from other left-wing outfits that say the Scandinavian countries are the best places to live.
But does European socialism really work ? I say it definitely does NOT work. Here's why:
1) The European socialist countries have the highest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world.
Following are countries with the highest debt-to-GDP levels, as measured in 2009:
1. Ireland - 1,312% of GDP
2. United Kingdom - 425.9% of GDP (there's your nationalized healthcare)
3. Switzerland - 382.2% of GDP
4. Netherlands - 376.6% of GDP
5. Belgium - 328.7% of GDP
6. Denmark - 316% of GDP
7. Sweden - 264,3% of GDP
8. Austria - 256.2% of GDP
9. France - 248% of GDP
10. Portugal - 235.9% of GDP
11. Hong Kong - 223.1% of GDP
12. Finland - 220.2% of GDP
13. Norway - 202.6% of GDP
14. Spain - 186.1% of GDP
15. Germany - 182.5% of GDP
16. Greece - 170.5% of GDP
17. Italy - 147.4% of GDP.
18. Australia - 124.3% of GDP.
19. Hungary - 121.9% of GDP.
20. United States - 96.5% of GDP.
Countries modeled on European socialism are drowning in debt and bankrupting themselves, as are we by following the same path. They can't maintain their socialist economic policies. Most of them are looking for ways to cut back on spending, even as the idiotic United States is engaging in the failed path of MORE spending, so we can be more like the...failing European socialist countries. Where is the sense in that ?
Naturally, the European workers unions are protesting all across Europe against European austerity measures designed to prevent the countries from bankrupting themselves. I suppose those unions are taking the pro-bankruptcy position, much like the Obama administration is implementing here.
2) European socialist countries have the highest tax rates in the world.
I'm going to use the popular misery index as a barometer of which countries implement the highest taxes on it's people. Oddly enough, even though the European socialist countries have the highest debt, they also have the highest tax rates, meaning that no matter how much they tax their citizens, it is NEVER enough to balance their oversize budgets. As they say, you cannot tax your way to prosperity. The countries with the highest tax rates are: France, China, Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Argentina, Finland, Greece, Brazil, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Japan, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, Poland, Norway...you won't find any European socialist countries on the low-end of the misery index. They all keep the misery quite high. The European socialist countries have income taxes AND VAT taxes (and some Democrats are kicking the idea of a VAT tax around here). They take roughly half the income of their citizens away. The more socialist countries take 60-70% of their citizens income away.
3) European countries have a much lower per capita GDP that we do here in the USA.
In 2009, the European Union (EU) had a per capita GDP of $33,052 in US dollars. The United States had a per capita GDP of $46,442, 40% higher than the EU. The difference is even more profound when you measure purchasing power parity. There, the EU stands at $29,729 to our $46,442, meaning we have 56% more purchasing power than our European socialist counterparts. That's what those high tax rates accomplish for them. They drive up their prices and leave them less money to spend.
Given this situation, why do "progressives" want us to be more like the European socialists ? They actually want to model an economic system that doesn't work as well as our own. Why would they want us to model failing European systems ? Are they masochists, who think we need to raise the misery index on the good old USA, or what ? What "progressives" would progress us toward is not better than what we have now, it's decidedly worse, yet they still insist on modeling failure.
And to think, the "progressives" call those who advocate for low taxes and less government spending dumb, or greedy. It should be the other way around. The dumb ones are the "progressives" who would throw over an economic system that is the envy of the world for something inferior. They call it social justice, whatever that means. I call it stupidity.
Btw, our federal debt is over $13.524 trillion now. It was $10.62 trillion when President Obama took office. He has run up nearly $3 trillion in additional debt in only 20 months in office. Sure glad Obama changed those "failed policies of the past" that President Bush was engaged in, aren't you ???? Say it along with me - Yes We Can (bankrupt America) ! Yes We Can (bankrupt America) ! Gosh, I feel so hopey-changey now. Too bad that won't make it all better, no matter how much some wish to delude themselves into believing otherwise.