Saturday, June 22, 2013

Report: 92 percent of Americans would rather be Swedes

Well, not quite. Not at all, in fact (among other things, they'd miss all their friends back home.)

But still. Here's an interesting short little presentation drawn from a report called A Political History of Inequality, which focuses on the United States. (Hat tip: Naked Capitalism.) The 92 percent figure starts at around 1:30.

The report summary notes:
"The conventional wisdom describes this collapse [of the highly successful, high-growth, egalitarian, post-New Deal structures] as an unfortunate but necessary response to changing economic conditions.  The world has become a leaner and meaner and more competitive place, so the argument goes.  As a result, the policies of the New Deal—and the costs they imposed on business—had to go.

But there is little evidence to actually support this account.  Indeed the initial handwringing over American economic decline came at a time when our principal competitors, Japan and Germany, boasted both higher wages and more expansive social programs than the United States. Political choices, not economic necessity, dismantled the New Deal."
That 'competitive' word again.

Even if it is a U.S.-focused report, its implications are widespread. Tax, of course, is part of the story. Now read on.


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