Europe's "prosperity" really a headfake?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by makloda, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. What does one unit of GDP per capita buy you (on a PPP basis) in the US and what does it buy one across Europe?

    1. Portugal would rank #51 as a U.S. state, below Mississippi in per capita GDP.

    2. Italy and Greece as U.S. states would rank between the two poorest U.S. states - West Virginia and Mississippi.

    3. If France became a U.S. state it would rank #48 out of 51 by per capita GDP, just barely ahead of America's two poorest states - West Virginia and Mississippi.

    4. Belgium, Finland, U.K. Germany and Spain would rank in the bottom 20% of U.S. states by per capita GDP, just barely ahead of Arkansas but below Kentucky.

    5. Although Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark are among Europe's wealthiest countries, as U.S. states they would be between 14.5% and 18% below the U.S. average.
  2. Dogfish


  3. Bill Gates walks into a bar in the poor part of town. Guess what the average wealth of the patrons in that bar is? Statistically speaking, they're all millionares.
  4. not a big shock as Europe no longer commands any respect on the world stage
  5. The method of trying to compare living standards solely trough comparing GDP per person is obviously as flawed as any method can be.

    Why care if oil is twice as expensive in Europe as in the US, we take the bus anyway.

    You're probably better off comparing anti depression usage.:p
  6. You'l feel different when you'll see the UK on it's knees begging Europe to join the Euro and ditch Sterling.:p
  7. That's why one is better off comparing GDP in PPP (!) per capita. Hypothetical example: What benefit do you get from earning a disposable income of 150,000 CHF in Switzerland if that provides you a standard of living like 100,000 USD would in a median US city? The income in this example may be 30% higher (USDCHF almost at parity) but the standard of living per GDP unit is not.
  8. my god u guys cant even afford to drive a beat up dodge truck
  9. Doesnt the method disregards the possibility of actual higher quality justifying a higher cost?

    Let's say chickens for instance.

    US chickens are forbidden to enter the EU because the cheap but some say harmfull way of cleaning is considered to be not up to standards Europeans desire.

    And even if that means higher prices for chicken it doesnt neccecarily has to mean the quality of life has to be negatively influenced.

    And vice versa obviously.

    I like these comparisons between countries and continents but looking at the small country where I live and such a difference in living standards 50 miles to the left or to the right I'd say it's really hard to get an actual and true insight on these matters based on statistics alone regardless of which method used.
  10. No other country in the world relies on oil and debt per capita than the US does - bar none. Both of these will become more scarce and costly as time goes on. That's when you start to judge different countries.

    So lessen that massive per capita oil and debt, and the US prosperity, too, is in question.
    #10     Jan 14, 2010