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Smile if you're European!


McDave

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Jul 10, 2008
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Good piece in today's FT putting a bit of perspective on the quality of life in Europe, even where it ain't going so great at the moment: Smile if you’re European - FT.com

Here are a few extracts, but it's worth reading the whole article even if you have to buy the paper!!

Europe is having a terrible time – except compared with probably every other continent and any time in history. Look at crisis-stricken Spain, for instance. The average Spaniard now lives to 82, seven years longer than in 1980. (Most countries where people can expect to reach 82 are European, says the World Health Organisation.) Today that average Spaniard’s income, despite years of crisis, is still nearly double what it was in 1980. And across Europe, daily life has tended to get gradually more pleasant. For instance, crime rates have kept falling in most western countries despite the crisis. British streets haven’t been this safe in more than 30 years, according to the UK’s Office of National Statistics.

It’s important to realise that most people’s lives aren’t affected by the latest twist in the eurozone crisis. A good new breast-cancer drug often does more for collective happiness than a good new prime minister. And those gains get shared out most fairly in Europe. That’s why seven of the 10 best-rating countries on the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index are European. So are six of the top 10 least corrupt in Transparency International’s corruption perception index. And when the CIA ranked 136 countries for income equality, the 17 most equal were all European. No wonder Spain and even Greece outrank Qatar on the United Nations’ human development index.

Most emerging economies lag decades behind us: Russian, Brazilian and Chinese average incomes are still below half those in Greece, according to the World Bank. Nonetheless, the relative rise of new countries engenders paranoia. The American pundit Thomas Friedman often says China and India are “eating our lunch”. But since the global economy isn’t a zero-sum game, it’s more accurate to say that the Chinese and Indians are making our lunch.

[...]

It’s also notable how well European democracies have held up under five years of crisis. In 1981, when shots were fired in Spain’s parliament, that average Spaniard still worried about a fascist coup. Today every western European country is a secure democracy. Contrary to predictions, Europe’s far right hasn’t risen en masse during the crisis, notes the London-based research and advisory group Counterpoint. Nor has western Europe experienced a big terrorist atrocity since 2005.

A decade ago, American pundits were predicting that anti-Semitism or vengeful Muslim immigrants or both would rip Europe apart. Indeed, in 2004, the American ambassador to the European Union, Rockwell Schnabel, said continental anti-Semitism was “getting to a point where it is as bad as it was in the 1930s”. That claim was always ludicrous, but its ludicrousness should now be plain even to Schnabel. In short: several dogs haven’t barked in Europe this crisis
I particularly like the "In short" comment. I think we've pulled through the worst of the crisis. But regardless of its longevity, all countries have remained within the Eurozone. Civil disturbances have been localised and not EZ-wide. There's a widespread understanding that the problems of excessive debt are being acknowledged. Europeans are broadly living with negative consequences relatively stoically, and will most likely support a structure which prevents the worst from happening again.

In the round, most Europeans accept they have a quality of life worth protecting. I think they're coming around to the realisation that it's worth trading the worst excesses of boom and bust cycles for a less dramatic "Goldilocks"-style economy. The EZ is a pretty good template in this regard.


... and finally
Our crisis won’t last for ever. Then it will be another continent’s turn to get caned by pundits for its stupid model.
Will "sneerleaders" like Thomas Friedman and Rockwell Schnabel then be honest enough to turn their ire on the US?
 

Prester Jim

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Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
10,071
Good piece in today's FT putting a bit of perspective on the quality of life in Europe, even where it ain't going so great at the moment: Smile if you’re European - FT.com

Here are a few extracts, but it's worth reading the whole article even if you have to buy the paper!!



I particularly like the "In short" comment. I think we've pulled through the worst of the crisis. But regardless of its longevity, all countries have remained within the Eurozone. Civil disturbances have been localised and not EZ-wide. There's a widespread understanding that the problems of excessive debt are being acknowledged. Europeans are broadly living with negative consequences relatively stoically, and will most likely support a structure which prevents the worst from happening again.

In the round, most Europeans accept they have a quality of life worth protecting. I think they're coming around to the realisation that it's worth trading the worst excesses of boom and bust cycles for a less dramatic "Goldilocks"-style economy. The EZ is a pretty good template in this regard.


... and finally


Will "sneerleaders" like Thomas Friedman and Rockwell Schnabel then be honest enough to turn their ire on the US?
Yeah, we really are the 1%.
Its the 0.1% we should hate.
Quick get them!


But seriously, the US has a massively larger deficit than we do, check out D4s signature for confirmation.
 

Dublin 4

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Feb 6, 2011
Messages
12,993
I think we've pulled through the worst of the crisis.
This is from the chump who said the EZ was stabilising in June '10 before all the Bailouts & Election of Grillo etc petunia

 

Ulster-Lad

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Oct 26, 2006
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Is this another Eurozone is stabilising thread? petunia
 

Northsideman

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Mar 7, 2010
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Ribeye

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Jul 12, 2011
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Drivel, just total drivel,
 

Ulster-Lad

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Oct 26, 2006
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Drivel, just total drivel,
But McDave doesn't like the FT because they don't accurately report anything according to himself. ;)
 

Ribeye

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Jul 12, 2011
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Ukip
 

TheWexfordInn

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Jul 27, 2012
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12,144
Noticeable that in that article that not a hint of credit for Europe continuing to be a great place was attributed to the existence of the EU.
 

McDave

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Jul 10, 2008
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But McDave doesn't like the FT because they don't accurately report anything according to himself. ;)
You must really hate the positivity in Kuper's article. There's a lot Europe does right. Give it a read. If you have it in you!! :)
 

sic transit

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Jan 30, 2008
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25,579
Noticeable that in that article that not a hint of credit for Europe continuing to be a great place was attributed to the existence of the EU.
You really need to read a bit more than p.ie to widen your knowledge. I'd start with say Robert Schumann.
 

Ulster-Lad

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Oct 26, 2006
Messages
10,092
You must really hate the positivity in Kuper's article. There's a lot Europe does right. Give it a read. If you have it in you!! :)
positivity? That is a joke right?
 

firefly123

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Dec 8, 2009
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28,155
The weird thing is that some posters would be delighted if this was the case.....


.....Not realising that most likely they would be the hood ornaments.
 

McDave

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Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
13,557
Noticeable that in that article that not a hint of credit for Europe continuing to be a great place was attributed to the existence of the EU.
Dear oh dear. Read in as much negativity if you must. And avoid obvious positive EU-engendered developments such as the credit most Spanish people give to the EU for helping it overcome decades of dictatorship. It's implicit in the article, if you care to read it.
 
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