These days some politicians like to compare European countries with the US, mostly to tell us all that their citizens get free from government.
What they fail to mention are other differences like taxes, accumulation of stuff, housing, vehicles and lifestyles.
It can all be boiled down with a simple comparison.
I guess I’m one of the lucky people. My wife studied 13c English history and we visited the UK fourteen times. Here are my observations. We loved the country, but their “filled roll” was as shown. One house we rented had 5 recycling containers, if you stood back more than 3 feet from the electric heater in the shower it was cold. The water heater shut off at 10pm and didn’t start until the next day. My friend in Scotland had cancer and was placed in a ward with 10 people. My wife’s cousin had a trigger finger in England and they would not operate until his nail touched his skin. Two counties in England did not approve one knee replacement the other year. Forget the 5 channels on the tv unless you have cable and you must purchase a permit to get them. One thing I did learn was visit another country first and when you come home you will appreciate what we have.
Question, was the GINI index post too long? or considered off topic?
In the U.S., The rich are richer and the poor are poorer than in Europe, and most other countries.
The question is not the difference in taxes, but the difference in who -pays- the taxes, IMO.
I think the inequality argument distorts the issue. Yes, there is inequality and always has been, yes the top tier has made large gains mostly as the result of investment growth. But does that inequality take opportunity from me or your? How? Is the wealth accumulated by a relatively few taken from others? No the pie is infinite. It would be a problem if that wealth was solely in the hands of despots or others with absolute power, but that is not the case in America. We need to build up the lower income, not tear down others. I fail to see how the wealth of others harms anyone or for that matter my relative wealth harms the poor. As you know the wealthy pay the bulk of all taxes, so for me the question is what is government going to with more taxes on the 1% that has not been done for generations?
“We need to build up the lower income, not tear down others.”
Granted. The point of the inequality index is just that. No, the pie is not infinite. Thousands, or millions, of workers are paycheck to paycheck, even with more than one job. One illness away from disaster. As I said, we need them. All of us. Like small cogs on a large gear. Lose too many and we all pay the price. They (we) need adequate lubrication.
I have no antipathy to Bezos or Gates, and understand, exact quote not remembered, that if we took —all— the income/wealth from the 1 percent, it wouldn’t run the country for long.
However, extreme inequality isn’t just an individual economic problem, it is a macroeconomic, as well as a social and political problem. Probably wouldn’t hurt to look to some European countries (or Canada) for guidance. Even if it means middle class tax increases.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
So, you are using a sandwich to compare the quality of life in the USA and Europe? You are comparing a country to a continent? There are many countries in Europe and all top 10 countries on the World Happiness Index are in Europe.
Sometimes less is more and more is not better, especially if it is more of craps and stuff that don’t bring happiness.
I am comparing the false narrative of US politicians who claim how much better Europe is, but fail to explain differences in taxes, lifestyle, accumulation of stuff, yes obesity when related to health care spending. It’s not a criticism of Europe, if anything the opposite. If Americans want all the “free” stuff claimed for European countries they need to accept the total tax experience and to some extent the lifestyle.
My taxes are a titch higher since moving from the U.S. to Spain. That is waaaaaay more than made up by health insurance costs, which are 1/8 of our U.S. insurance cost, but since there are no deductibles or copays, more like 1/10. With far better and quicker access to specialists, all covered, with not even a form to fill out. Our European friends here wonder why Americans don’t revolt for that reason alone. Spain’s obesity rate is 1/3 of that of the U.S. but not for lack of the freshest and most abundant food. Oh, and I’ve never seen a sandwich like that offered here. Your experience must be limited to cruise ship layovers. 🤣
Including the VAT and price of gasoline and other fees? Are you sure just a bit higher? Never was on a cruise ship in Europe. That sandwich experience is real and based on local restaurants, even one in Madrid.
Never been to Spain so I don’t know about sandwiches in Spain but I been to Italy and the UK. Those sandwiches would very much represent what I got there. The pastrami sandwich pictured is a little on the small side if you went to the Carnegie Deli in the US.
Now I am not so sure it is a good thing but very many things in the USA are much bigger; cars, trucks, houses, amount of land your house sits on, and even TVs. Did you happen to give up anything else?
Yes the USA is a land of excesses. No sure it a good thing but you can choose lifestyle.
I wonder if the Pastrami Principle is part of the government trying to control healthcare costs by keep the obesity rate down. Although according to WHO (if you can trust them), Europe has the world’s second highest obesity rate behind the US. I can’t see how when they eat like that.
Next week pictures: McMansions with closets big enough to have windows to living in a small flat with no closets.
The Pastrami Principle