How Bad Would European Socialism Really Be?
Perhaps this is heresy to even ask this, but suppose we moved in the direction of greater European-style socialism - how bad would that really be?
According to IMF data for 2009 (available here), GDP per capita for the U.S. and some European countries are as follows (PPP values in parentheses):
1. Luxembourg: $104,512 ($78,395)
2. Norway: $79,085 ($52,561)
3. Switzerland: $67,560 ($43,007)
4. Denmark: $56,115 ($35,757)
5. Ireland: $51,356 ($39,468)
6. Netherlands: $48,223 ($39,938)
7. U.S.A.: $46,381
8. Austria: $45,989 ($38,939(
9. Finland: $44,492 ($33,556)
10. Sweden: $43,986 ($35,965)
11. Belgium: $43,533 ($35,422)
12. France: $42,747 ($33,679)
Maybe another way of looking at this is that free market capitalism is so strong and creates so much wealth, prosperity and abundance, that even European-style socialism isn't enough to really impede the wealth-creating process? Even with European-style socialism, there are six European countries that have higher per-capita GDP than the U.S. and another five that aren't far behind us (Update: using PPP per-capita GDP above, the comparison changes significantly), so perhaps Jet USA in the cartoon above would fly right through the clouds of European socialism, and barely even slow down?