Friday, March 24, 2006

Europe as a model: incurring liabilities and debt

With every riot, failed reform and capitulation to authoritarian economic and social interests, the day would hopefully draw nearer when Canadian labour and progressive activists would stop cajoling us to emulate the European model. Given the systematic underappreciation of evidence by European authorities and the willful avoidance by the activists, however, failure of the European model will for a very long time at least be ignored or attributed to the completely wrong things, somehow, like capitalism. Nevertheless, Martin De Vlieghere and Paul Vreymans draw attention to the cautionary lessons of the European model in this article in the Brussels Journal:

Europe’s present social model is unsustainable because it is based on robbery of future generations. Keeping the system in place would jeopardize the next generation’s future with an unbearable and uncompressible tax burden, and would seriously add to the risk of a total collapse of Europe. Moreover these expansionary social policies have not worked so far. In spite of the largest debt buildup in history Europe’s growth has remained weak anyway. Europe’s social model is built largely on credit to be paid back by its own children.
See also: EU: Causes of Growth differentials in Europe.


Aaron said...

Interesting read, however it does not provide the full picture. I recall reading an interesting study done in The Economist which controlled for "mandated services". In Sweden, for example, the government might be required to provide health care, whereas in America, (I know, I know - not EU) health care is provided via the private sector.

Looking at the tax burden on wages for Sweden, one would think "wow - they're really getting screwed". But, their health care, caycare or whatever services the median citizen uses are usually included in there. So, the way you compare Sweden to the US is to control for health care costs. In addition to the US tax burden on wages, one would add the cost of health care.

When all these factors are considered and controlled for, Sweden and the US have virtually identical wage burdens for these services.

Not to say Sweden's ideal or anything; it just goes to show that the tax burden on wages is a pretty useless comparison unless the quality and content of services are ontrolled for across countries. In sum - you can't really compare one country to another on the basis of the tax burden alone.

Pietr said...

It's not about the money.
Defenders of crime are the first to criticise others for being greedy.
They are also the first to claim that criminality gives good value for money.

So which is it?

Are they concerned with greed, or not?
Are they pro or contra?
They can't have it both ways.

Charity doesn't have to be good value.
It's freely spent.
What kind of thief uses 'good value for money' as an excuse for his crimes?

It is utterly ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

"... tax burden on wages is a pretty useless comparison unless the quality and content of services are ontrolled for across countries ..."

How can you "control" for the quality and content health care services? Is a pap smear worth more to a patient than a urine test? If you have to wait a month to get an MRI in Sweden, is that worth 1/2 as much as an MRI which you got in the USA after only 2 hours, or is it worth 1/10 as much, or (more likely) is it completely worthless? How much is it worth if you're able to find a good doctor and pay him with your own money, compared to being forced to see a mediocre doctor because he's the only one your government will allow you to see? Do the big-brains typing articles for The Economist think that they can read patients' and doctors' minds and determine how much "better health" Swedes are getting with the tax dollars that are ripped out of their hands? If a government spends billions of borrowed dollars on neo-natal care and achieves a very low rate of infant mortality this year, but the system goes broke in 20 years when the government can't borrow any more money and the hospitals close down, then does that country have an "excellent" health care system?

Trying to measure the unmeasurable and trying to deliver collectively that which is entirely personal and private is what makes Sweden just another failed, doomed, Marxist state.