Debate and Discussion

One in six Europeans living below poverty threshold
ian_feverdream at 6:35AM, Feb. 22, 2007
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My conservative carpooler is using this as an example of the failure of socialism.
One in six Europeans living below poverty threshold
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/02/19/070219190755.ymle6ljl.html
A quick google search didn't find anything proving or disproving this. I'd like to get your thoughts.
Is it really that bad?
Do they have a different benchmark for poverty than here in the states?
Finish your beer, there are sober children in India.
– What happens over the rainbow, stays over the rainbow.
FreeFall Drift - #422 in Comic Book/Story #630 Overall, Wahoo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
ozoneocean at 7:17AM, Feb. 22, 2007
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Well considering “Europe” is made up of several countries I'd say the whole thing had very little meaning.
Don't forget that Countries in the former Eastern Block have all just suddenly joined Europe in the last 10 years or so. Communist countries had a whole different standard of living, quite outside of the normal wealth and poverty scale, they'd be distorting the stats spectacularly. Besides, not all of Europe is even remotely “socialist”. That's a moronic generalisation. Like a lot of conservatives, you friend isn't very knowledgeable or intelligent.

Really this thing is like taking ALL of the Americas and lumping them together. All of the central and South American countries, all of the Islands (especially Cuba), as well as the USA and Canada, and then making a poverty scale out of it. It's simply atrociously stupid to take such things on face value! Imagine doing the same thing to Asia, wow, that'd be silly. If you're serious about understanding the living conditions of European countries you have to examine them separately. ;)

“The states” are just a single country, as are places like Lichtenstein, Norway, and Albania. But while Lichtenstein and Norway, make the USA look like a poverty stricken backwater, Albania makes it look like heaven on earth, (and that's because the communist system has recently changed over into a capitalist one, so they have a lot of development to do). You see why you can't take these things on face value? If I were you I'd just ignore that friend from now on, or laugh at him…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:26PM
ian_feverdream at 7:44AM, Feb. 22, 2007
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Ahhh, so with some digging and parsing, it seems….
In 2004, 16 percent of EU citizens lived under the poverty threshold
It said the rate is lowest for Sweden was 9-10 percent in Sweden, and isn't it the most socialist and liberal?
It said the rate was 21 percent in Lithuania and Poland, who are the most conservative and trying to be capitalist.
“The share of children living in jobless households varies greatly across member states, ranging from less than three percent in Luxembourg to 14 percent or more in Britain and Bulgaria.”
Luxembourg is considered the most protectionist state of the EU. Seems like protectionism is a good thing, it protects family jobs.
I'm not aware of the UK being strongly protectionist and their jobless households seems high.
Am I reading this right?
Finish your beer, there are sober children in India.
– What happens over the rainbow, stays over the rainbow.
FreeFall Drift - #422 in Comic Book/Story #630 Overall, Wahoo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
ozoneocean at 8:05AM, Feb. 22, 2007
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Yep, it's complicated. That's it exactly. I like how you made the differentiation with protectionism and the newly conservative countries. There's also population rates to consider… Luxembourg has very few people. The UK has had a pretty stable growth over a long period, but they seem to have a constant influx of immigrants from poorer nations, and some of the poorer former communist countries have a larger population growth with a younger population (or so I understand it… I could be wrong). Of course when the former communist countries were still communist a greater proportion of the population had a higher standard of living than they do now. That's one of the horrible ironies… They trade social freedom for poverty because people never realise than only a tiny minority will ever be rich, while the rest are doomed to make them so.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:26PM
ian_feverdream at 11:29AM, Feb. 22, 2007
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I got back from my co worker….
Nice try but Germany and France are very large parts of the EU. Both of their jobless rates and taxes are very high. Anytime you have a high jobless rate in a Socialist environment you are going to have higher taxes. They have no choice but to charge higher taxes to continue the high revenue required to maintain the Socialist programs. The more you give to people for free the more people you will have trying to get free stuff and if I am getting it for free why should I work. So by doing this you have half of the people working hard to support those who don't want to work or cant get jobs because big business has gone under or left the country due to the high taxes. Now, I know that may seem fair in your world but it really isn't fair to those who are paying for everything. I am going to make a prediction that the EU is only going to get worse as time goes on and that is why Britain has not joined the protectionism way of life. You cant blame it all on Lithuania and Poland because they are trying to make their economies work. They see what is happening and don't seem to want any part of it. As their economies get stronger their jobless rates will decrease and their tax revenue will get higher without raising having to raise taxes.

Nobody ever said we will not have taxes and end up like Mexico. That is another Liberal argument. What Bush has done was decreased taxes to a more reasonable level and in doing so the economy has created more jobs and more people paying taxes which has increased the tax revenue to a higher level than it was during higher tax levels. This is a proven method that works and yet the Liberals cant seem to grasp it. Tax rates will always be adjusted up or down to maintain the revenue required to make the Govt run. The problem is that the Liberals want much more Govt. and more programs that require more money. Free medical for everyone isn't cheap, especially in this country. Also try looking at the countries that had that program: Canada, those who can afford it come to America to get medical treatment because it takes forever to get into to see one of those free doctors. Germany is the same way, if you can get in to see a doctor it works. Personally I would rather have my insurance and see who I want, when I want.

Have you ever been to Luxemburg? I have and there are so few people there that a very few businesses can employ almost everyone who wants to work. That country is about the size of Delaware.
Finish your beer, there are sober children in India.
– What happens over the rainbow, stays over the rainbow.
FreeFall Drift - #422 in Comic Book/Story #630 Overall, Wahoo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
ozoneocean at 12:09PM, Feb. 22, 2007
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What? I said Luxembourg has very few people. I actually stated that. And you're still lumping in all of the EU and comparing it to the US. What about doing 1 on 1? DON'T treat the EU as one nation. Pick one and go with it, if that's your thing. Germany is a stupid example because they're obviously carrying all of East Germany which had been run down for 40 years, could no longer rely on the communist system, or subsidies from the USSR. What's wrong with high taxes? There seems to be this ignorant fantasy that 10% of the population will pay for the welfare of all the rest through their taxes, encouraging the other 90% never to work at all, it's simply not that insane. Why in the world would anyone make a system like that? Conservatives will always characterise other systems in silly ways just to make themselves feel more secure with their inequitable systems.

Poland and Lithuania… Ah… more dumb examples. Know about the sex tourism in Lithuania and the sexual slavery? What about the huge exodus of economic migrants out of Poland? Having your country's system work so well that you either have to sell your body for sex or leave to get enough money to live must be a wonderful thing. ;)

In the US most poor people simply HAVE to have more than two regular jobs to keep their families afloat. That's not a good system. It means you'll have a lower jobless rate because people have to work like slaves to get by. But as long as you're happy with the inequities, who am I to quibble? It's your country, you do things how you like. My country has it's own bad points and good points as well. Who am I to point the finger? :)
Personally I don't think you just snipe at the systems of other countries until you think about all the ups and downs in your own. Look to others for good examples to follow, not so you can go “Haw haw, look at how the foreigners do things! I'm glad we do it different here! We're better, they fail at everything”.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:26PM
ian_feverdream at 2:20PM, Feb. 22, 2007
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My last message may have been disjointed. That was a copy of paste from an email from my co worker. He didn't read your comment. He's a hard core Reagan conservative and an ex military, who doesn't question anything the conservatives do yet thinks all democrats are corrupt. I don't expect to change his mind, but I ask the questions so I can better defend my position. Still I can hope.
Finish your beer, there are sober children in India.
– What happens over the rainbow, stays over the rainbow.
FreeFall Drift - #422 in Comic Book/Story #630 Overall, Wahoo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Phantom Penguin at 2:54AM, Feb. 23, 2007
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Do they mean the EU? Or Europe as a whole, because if its Europe as a whole it counts several countries that are terrbily poor. But all the european countrys i've been to are good to decent it seemed. With the exeption of Kosovo…but i saw that coming.

In all in the modern would the European version of socialism works very well.for the contries that USE it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM

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