Oh to be in Paris


#1

We have had a few comments on other threads to the effect that: “I wouldn’t live in the US if you paid me to.” In addition, some claim that the standard of living in Europe is higher due to quality considerations, or living standards are at least more equitable, like in Sweden. Others suggest that life in the US (as a top emigration destination) must have some advantages.

As someone who has never been to the US (shocking revelation here for Fruity, I guess) I would be interested to hear people’s views on the quality of life.

For discussions of some of the points, The Economist had a recent article:

economist.com/finance/displa … id=1563761

and the full paper of the guy they quote:

faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/ … on/355.pdf


#2

Personally, I very much enjoy travel in Europe (excluding France). In fact, my wife and I hope to spend a year or two there before we retire to the States.

Anyway, here is an article that addresses some of the comments made in the article cited by IYBF:

weeklystandard.com/Content/P … 4rmwri.asp

It looks at the matter from a different perspective… productivity rather than quality of life…


#3

Mr T.

Why does your Swedish sister prefer life in the US? I would be interested to know, since a lot of arguments in favour of the “European model” are made in terms of quality of life rather than GDP per capita.

Also, it strikes me that using “output per worker per hour” to measure relative levels of productivity may be somewhat misleading.

Let’s assume that because of artificially high costs (meaning government intervention in the labour market), Europe has a high unemployment rate. Surely, this will mean that Europe will employ only those workers who are productive enough to be employed profitably given the artificially high costs. Thus, the market does not clear. In the US, however, with a lower unemployment rate, many more of the less productive workers are employed.

So, you are comparing Europe’s most productive workers against a US sample which includes some of its least productive workers.


#4

[quote=“imyourbiggestfan”]Mr T.

Why does your Swedish sister prefer life in the US? I would be interested to know, since a lot of arguments in favour of the “European model” are made in terms of quality of life rather than GDP per capita.[/quote]

She has long complained of the tax rate there. It is very difficult for her to save any money to do other things, such as travel outside of a few locations in Europe. She is a nurse who specializes in the treatment of patients who have suffered severe burns. Her ex-hubby was a janitor at the same hospital. They made nearly the same amount of money, after taxes. She spent her time in training and treating patients. He mowed the lawn and played ping pong.

[quote=“imyourbiggestfan”]Also, it strikes me that using “output per worker per hour” to measure relative levels of productivity may be somewhat misleading.

Let’s assume that because of artificially high costs (meaning government intervention in the labour market), Europe has a high unemployment rate. Surely, this will mean that Europe will employ only those workers who are productive enough to be employed profitably given the artificially high costs. Thus, the market does not clear. In the US, however, with a lower unemployment rate, many more of the less productive workers are employed.

So, you are comparing Europe’s most productive workers against a US sample which includes some of its least productive workers.[/quote]

Well, I’m not making the comparison… I just provided the article for your reference. I am somewhat of an idiot when it comes to this subject matter. I try not to discuss matters in which I am not well informed or knowledgable.


#5

Very interesting comparison - there are clearly some hidden costs to the European model. But it does seem on this evidence that it is an excellent place to live for unskilled workers with a passion for indoor sport.


#6

IMBF you guessed wrong. I’ve travelled to over 30 countries, and lived in the US, Italy and France as well as Taiwan and of course the UK.


#7

I think you read incorrectly. I think IYBF meant that he has never been to the US… he wasn’t talking about you, unless I am mistaken.


#8

Well, if I were to give up my career dreams, get a job where I only had to work 35 hours a week, and still know that I was secured by a bloated welfare state, then I would choose to go back.

I still tend to get those nightmares, and they take some swallowing.


#9

I think you read incorrectly. I think IYBF meant that he has never been to the US… he wasn’t talking about you, unless I am mistaken.[/quote]

That’s right, Mr T. - I never have been to the US. Not sure why really… but, yes, I thought it would come as a shocking revelation to Fruity, who knows me to be a warmongering son-of-a-Bush. (Correct me if I am wrong, F-Cake.)

It was, however, good to see Fruity’s defences shooting up so quickly. Is this symptomatic of they’re-all-out-to-get-me knee-jerkism?