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Europe is Back up and Congress is Back Down

Trusted readers of the Atlantic Review always recommend interesting articles. The links are featured in the sidebar.

Earlier today Don recommended an ABC News article, reminding us that "Democrats Lose Their Edge: Poll Shows Congressional Approval Ratings Have Returned to Pre-Election Levels"

David linked to "Europe's comeback" in The Boston Globe:
For years, Americans have been hearing about economic stagnation in Europe, as well as stubbornly high unemployment, inflexible labor markets, and a deep-rooted aversion to reform. The truth is that Europe is back and very much so.
Of course, there are plenty of problems in Europe. It is too early to be cheerful. Let's just hope that the good news will reduce all the talk about Eurabia.

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Don S on :

I had a bit of a laugh about one line in the Globe piece. Something like 'Germany had 3.4% growth in the 4th quarter of 2006, proving that high-wage countries can have high economic growth'.. Ummmm, right. One quarter's worth of economic statistics conclusively prove that. A rather sweeping statement, no? ;)

JW-Atlantic Review on :

I am skeptical about the German economy. The stock market is very high. Sounds like the beginning of a dangerous hype. Anyway, I think a more important point in the Globe was: "For example, Europe's future-oriented Lisbon Agenda includes both social and environmental sustainability as a key component. Countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands are achieving economic growth without sacrificing their social safety nets." Those countries have been doing much better than Germany. Evidence of their success is not limited to just one quarter of economic statistics.

Don S on :

"It is Sweden, once a bastion of Euro-socialist inefficiency, that is now the western continent's leader. It saw its gross domestic product expand 4.4 percent last year, its fastest growth rate since 1999 and considerably faster than the US economy. At the same time, it is running a healthy fiscal surplus." Here's another. Sweden is a major anomoaly because it is the only country which runs true Keynesian economic policy. Keynesian policy is to run high surpluses during expansions and offset them with huge deficits in recessions. Depending on where Sweden is in the business cycle it either looks like a complete world-beater or irredeemably doomed - depending. Therefore it isn't wise to use Sweden as an example illustrating your point - particularly as it may be slipping behind Mississippi in long-term growth and income statistics. Or it may not - could be a batch of bad statistics I read about that. Hard to tell with Sweden! Norway is another bad example. Very small population with big oil and gas revenues. Denmark and possibly Finland are safer comparison points than Norway or Sweden, I think.

Anonymous on :

And fertility rates are increasing in France. So, Eurabia my ass.

Don S on :

The devil is in the details, I think. If differential fertility rates between the Muslim and non-muslim parts of the population is large enough, rising French fertility rates may reflect nothing more than the increased proportion of muslims in the French population. Or it may not. It depends upon who is having the babies....

Anonymous on :

Laetitia is: [url][/url]

Anonymous on :

The percentage of Muslims in France is small. If their fertility is to have any impact on the national fertility rate, then every Muslim women has to give birth one kid per year. SuperFrenchie » Bébé boom "The fertility rate is now 2.0 children per woman, up from 1.92 in 2005, making it the highest in Europe. Ireland’s rate in 2005 was 1.99. French life expectancy is also on the rise, at 77.1 years for men and 84 years for women. (U.S.: 75.0 for men and 80.9 for women) While it is the highest in 26 years, the French fertility rate is still not as high as the U.S.’, which is 2.1 and the threshold for population replacement." [url][/url]

Don S on :

I found an intersting chart after googling for statistics: GDP based on PPP per capita GDP (in US dollars) Som selected countries for 2006: France 30342.81 Germany 31472.07 UK 31561.79 US 43538.23 Japan 32617.30 Sweden 30751.05 Switzerland 34498.41 Singapore 29591.00 Hmmm. OK - a couple more: Luxemborg 70044.28 Ireland 42081.63 Norway 43481.07 The Luxemburgers beat hell out of everyone and the Celts are within spitting distance of the big bad US. The Norwegians are even closer. HERE are the true economic models, folks! EU subsidies, offshore banking, and Oil - it's the wave of the future! ;)

JW-Atlantic Review on :

PPP is a purely consumer centered attitude. ;-) Remember this Mastercard advertisement, which always mentions something about xyz being [b]priceless[/b]? The best things in life are free. Besides, Germany has better bread and beer than the US. France has better cheese than the US. ;-) Besides, we get more holidays! More quality of life. This is all what counts. ;-) Besides, [b]we have more peace than you do[/b], ätschibätschi! ;-) This is the global peace ranking: 1. Norway 2. New Zealand 3. Denmark 4. Ireland 5. Japan 6. Finland 7. Sweden 8. Canada 9. Portugal 10. Austria 11. Belgium 12. Germany The Economist Intelligence Unit has developed the methodology for the “global peace index”: "The index takes note of internal factors—crime rates, prison population, trust between citizens—and external ones, like relations with neighbours, arms sales, foreign troop deployments. Norway's top place reflects its calm domestic atmosphere and good relations with nearby states. In the case of Israel (119th), high military spending, a huge army and unresolved local conflicts are deemed to outweigh its low level of ordinary crime. [b]Canada comes eighth; its American neighbour a dismal 96th, strangely just above Iran."[/b] Full text: [url][/url] The Global Peace Index with all rankings can be found here: [url][/url] Please, take this comment with more than one grain of salt. All these rankings are flawed, but so is the PPP ranking. In our globalized world, more and more of us have the chance to just cross the Atlantic and find work on the other side, if they think prefer the quality of life there. And, yes, as I have pointed out before, many Germans are leaving the country: [url][/url] Perhaps they will their home and return one day. That is globalization.

Don S on :

"Besides, Germany has better bread and beer than the US. France has better cheese than the US. ;-)" Better beer, yes, although we are catching up fast. And remember that when Germany had to sell beer at the World Cup - where did they turn? To the US. Clear proof of superioroty in the horsepiss stakes! ;) Bread - no. As for France.... They may have better cheese but the US and Australia both have better wine.... "Besides, we get more holidays! More quality of life. This is all what counts. ;-)" And we have bigger houses. You keep telling us more is not better - apply it to yourselves! ;)

Don S on :

One thing to keep in mind about popularity polls (whether about the President OR about Congress) is that the most important question is not answered by the headline figure. The conclusion is that 'We hate Bush', 'We hate Congress', or 'We hate both Bush and Congress'. The important question is 'Why?'. In this case the fall in Congress' popularity seems to be the disillusionment of the angry Left - just as a major factor in the Bush fall was the disillusionment of the right.

David on :

Good point. Disillusionment with Congress doesn't necessarily mean loss of support of Democrats. There is anger that Dems are not doing more to end the war. But the Republicans have wrapped themselves in the Iraq War, which 75% of Americans hate (Don, are they ALL just angry left?). That is a strategy for total failure in 2008. Each flag-draped coffin that arrives from Baghdad means 10,000 fewer Republican votes. 26 US military deaths in Iraq so far in June. Total US Military deaths in Iraq as of this evening: 3503. How many more, Don? RayD, when will you enlist?

Don S on :

"(Don, are they ALL just angry left" No, david. I think it't about 30-40% of democrats I would describe that way - no more.

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