Let's all be thankful we live in America...

I must admit, I haven't been keeping up with the Euro Zone crisis as much as I should be, but I came across this read on The Economist today, and even though it's about a week old, it was a good introductory foray into the political landscape of the upcoming French election. This...is some scary stuff.

The candidates dish out at least as many promises to spend more as to spend less. Nobody has a serious agenda for reducing France's eye-watering taxes. Mr Sarkozy, who in 2007 promised reform with talk of a rupture, now offers voters protectionism, attacks on French tax exiles, threats to quit Europe's passport-free Schengen zone and (at least before Toulouse) talk of the evils of immigration and halal meat. Mr Hollande promises to expand the state, creating 60,000 teaching posts, partially roll back Mr Sarkozy's rise in the pension age from 60 to 62, and squeeze the rich (whom he once cheerfully said he did not like), with a 75% top income-tax rate.

As I read daily news of the situation improving state-side, Europe seems doomed to all depths of hell. On the verge of electing a Socialist president? How could this possibly not end up horrifically?

Are investors going to flee immediately from France's bond markets? Borrowing is already hard, but some of these numbers are so staggering that it seems like France might never borrow again!

Link to article

Comments (40)

Apr 7, 2012

France is bad but the worst is by far Spain. Bill Gross put it best, "greece was a zit, portugal a boil, spain a tumor...."

Unemployment hit 26% and is rising; youth unemployment is well above 50% and fast approaching 60. Further write downs for Spanish banks on loans and real estate. Deep deep deep austerity measures ahead. An absolute disaster. I don't think the news or general public in the US has a grasp on the shithole that is Europe.

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Apr 7, 2012

Hmmmmm. I wonder. Does this follow?

Europeans can't buy shit -> Demand for Asian goods decreases (slightly) -> Shit gets cheaper relative to American goods -> American exports stall a little, too?

Apr 8, 2012

For the time being (and the last decades) the French have been living much better lives in average than Americans, if you take into account free time, vacation, pension age, crime and what not.

Apr 8, 2012
t4s:

For the time being (and the last decades) the French have been living much better lives in average than Americans, if you take into account free time, vacation, pension age, crime and what not.

Oh for sure, dumping all of the payments on future generations is a legitimate strategy for living a pretty nice life.

Apr 8, 2012

while in America the Supreme Court rules any citizen can be strip searched for misdemeanors.

Apr 8, 2012
orangejulius:

while in America the Supreme Court rules any citizen can be strip searched for misdemeanors.

orangejulius:

while Obama and Congress pass NDAA and indefinite detention of citizens without due process.

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Apr 8, 2012
Abdel:
orangejulius:

while in America the Supreme Court rules any citizen can be strip searched for misdemeanors.

orangejulius:

while Obama and Congress pass NDAA and indefinite detention of citizens without due process.

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Its nice to be a Canadian and I am thankful I live on the other side of the 49th parallel;)

Apr 8, 2012
orangejulius:

while in America the Supreme Court rules any citizen can be strip searched for misdemeanors.

...except that never happens. This is what Europeans get all hot and bothered about but if you aren't doing anything bad and/or Muslim then you have nothing to worry about. The government isn't going to go searching through the homes of suburban white families.

In Europe, on the other hand, the debt crisis is very real for everyone.

Apr 8, 2012
FusRoDah:
orangejulius:

while in America the Supreme Court rules any citizen can be strip searched for misdemeanors.

...but if you aren't doing anything bad and/or Muslim then you have nothing to worry about

Problem?

Apr 8, 2012
FusRoDah:
orangejulius:

while in America the Supreme Court rules any citizen can be strip searched for misdemeanors.

...except that never happens. This is what Europeans get all hot and bothered about but if you aren't doing anything bad and/or Muslim then you have nothing to worry about. The government isn't going to go searching through the homes of suburban white families.

In Europe, on the other hand, the debt crisis is very real for everyone.

Oh right... it will never happen. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/04/nj_man_in...

Apr 8, 2012
FusRoDah:
orangejulius:

while in America the Supreme Court rules any citizen can be strip searched for misdemeanors.

...except that never happens. This is what Europeans get all hot and bothered about but if you aren't doing anything bad and/or Muslim then you have nothing to worry about. The government isn't going to go searching through the homes of suburban white families.

In Europe, on the other hand, the debt crisis is very real for everyone.

It is so great to be in America since being white and living in the suburbans is a protected group...geez how old are you?

Apr 8, 2012

while Obama and Congress pass NDAA and indefinite detention of citizens without due process.

Apr 8, 2012

That's kind of funny to read that, especially from an american.

You really think your country won't / don't have to face a fucking bad crisis ? It's not because media talk a lot about the European crisis that you don't have your own shit to clean.

Apr 8, 2012
Nilokas:

That's kind of funny to read that, especially from an american.

You really think your country won't / don't have to face a fucking bad crisis ? It's not because media talk a lot about the European crisis that you don't have your own shit to clean.

I'm pretty sure that because I live in the United States, the media that I have immediate access to (you could even say, gasp, American media), tends to cover the crisis in America more closely and consistently than the crisis in Europe. I'm well aware that we're not in the best of times here either, but at least our politicians, irrespective of how incompetent they are, realize and admit that the economic issues should come first in policymaking. Oh, and at least yields on our bonds aren't skyrocketing due to austere economic policies.

Apr 8, 2012

Blind patriotism is akin to Religious fanatics blowing buildings up.

Apr 8, 2012
Gate_Crasher:

Blind patriotism is akin to Religious fanatics blowing buildings up.

you are idiotic to try to compare blind patriotism to fanatic nationalism.

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Apr 8, 2012
Gate_Crasher:

Blind patriotism is akin to Religious fanatics blowing buildings up.

the US is much more similar to the countries it wars with (afghanistan, iraq, iran) than with europe in few aspects.

Religious fundamentalists, guns per capita, and the death penalty come to mind. It always fascinates me how the US is the only civilized western country that is not secular.

that said France is not that much more fucked in terms of deficit than the US, its economy is less credit driven and consumers are more prudent.

Apr 8, 2012

As someone who was brought up next to France and regularly spent time there, the country has changed a lot in the past few years. The EU has brought benefits to the country's economy, but the average citizen barely experiences it.

Apr 8, 2012

The USA is in a million times better situation than Europe. The USA has tons to cut and plenty to tax. Europe on the other hand already has a high tax rate and nearly no defense spending. Couple that with anti business employment laws and a populace used to lavish entitlements and you are fucked.

Oh, how about a negative birth rate and xenophobic citizens. Oh yeah, and Muslim immigration that is just waiting to explode out of frustration.

So yeah, the USA can be a whole lot better, but lets not make it seem like Europe is just a little worse.

Apr 8, 2012

[quote=TNA]
Oh yeah, and Muslim immigration that is just waiting to explode out of frustration.
/quote]

hmm I sense a london reference?

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Apr 8, 2012

.

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Apr 8, 2012
bullbythehorns][quote=TNA:

Oh yeah, and Muslim immigration that is just waiting to explode out of frustration.
/quote]

hmm I sense a london reference?

Not just London, but France, Germany, etc. Europe is all about taking care of their own, except they do not realize that they need immigrants to fuel their stagnant economy. Problem is you cannot have two tiers of society and "native" Europeans really don't like extending these wonderful entitlements to Omar and Mohammed.

And what spending can Europe cut? Almost all of their budget is for entitlements. The US is a fucking whale loaded with blubber. We also have low tax rates. We could right the ship in the blink of an eye, forgetting the fact that we have the worlds reserve currency and can just repay our debt in worthless greenbacks.

Europe is in a real bad situation. No room to cut, immigrants living in a second class existence, a labor market that cannot compete with the world and high taxes and costs of doing business. Not an enviable situation to be in.

Apr 8, 2012
TNA:

The USA is in a million times better situation than Europe. The USA has tons to cut and plenty to tax. Europe on the other hand already has a high tax rate and nearly no defense spending. Couple that with anti business employment laws and a populace used to lavish entitlements and you are fucked.
Oh, how about a negative birth rate and xenophobic citizens. Oh yeah, and Muslim immigration that is just waiting to explode out of frustration.
So yeah, the USA can be a whole lot better, but lets not make it seem like Europe is just a little worse.

Damn, this is so spot on.
I'm half French and I am seriously crying in disbelief at what those retarded politicians are pushing for.

Cut immigration by half and hunt hallal food.
Vs
75% tax rate and "fight finance"

Here is your choice. Financial crisis sir ? What is this, a new toy ?

Apr 8, 2012

The US is a secular nation. Separation of church and state is pretty spelled out. The 2nd amendment enshrines the right of the private citizen to bear arms. And Europe killed enough innocent people in WWII. No need for a death penalty for them.

Apr 8, 2012

Last time I checked the United States was secular. I didn't realize that my gay college roommate couldn't have sex with men, that my co-workers weren't getting plastered every Friday and Saturday night, or that my associates didn't drop F-bombs every other word. I wasn't aware that abortions were illegal, that divorce was impossible, or that working on the Sabbath was criminal. I wasn't aware that buying alcohol was forbade, that women couldn't vote, or that pornography wasn't a protected Constitutional right. You're right--the United States is just a theocracy, akin to Iran!

Apr 8, 2012

Exactly. France has this upswing of pork only soup kitchens because French people only want to help non Jews and non Arabs. Yah, that is tolerance.

I've said it a million times. Europe is utopia if you are gay or an atheist. Anyone else, you are not welcome.

Apr 8, 2012

i'd take Sarkozy over the retarded republican candidates anyday

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Apr 8, 2012
coach.captain:

i'd take Sarkozy over the retarded republican candidates anyday

You're one of those people that believes Obama is responsible for the energy boom aren't you?

Best Response
Apr 9, 2012

I'm a white, upper middle class male in the United States. I love America. Things are great. You know who else loves America? My Bolivian immigrant business partner whose parents were Bolivian-educated engineers who made a better life for themselves in the cleaning business in the United States--now their sons are prospering. Ya know who else loves America? The Asian business owners who have made a good life for themselves with hair salons, Subway restaurants, 7-Elevens, etc. You know who else loves America? Ambitious, talented African immigrants who work their tales off and have carved out great new lives here. And the Indian immigrants who become engineers and doctors. And the Canadian actors and actresses and musicians who flock to the land of opportunity. And my hick, redneck college roommate who now has an engineering degree, a beautiful wife and a big, nice house in the suburbs. And the poor blacks like Herman Cain who rose above adversity and made a life for themselves. And my best friend's girlfriend's hick, redneck brothers who live in the middle of nowhere in Ohio but are internet millionaires.

I'll take poor in America over entitlement Europe all day. Why? Because I'd rather have a 1% chance of making a difference in this world than no chance. Without hope there is nothing left to live for.

Edit: these aren't isolated incidents, btw. The entire state university system in the United States is chock full of lower class and lower middle class kids who have chosen to change the trajectory of their lives.

Apr 9, 2012
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I'm a white, upper middle class male in the United States. I love America. Things are great. You know who else loves America? My Bolivian immigrant business partner whose parents were Bolivian-educated engineers who made a better life for themselves in the cleaning business in the United States--now their sons are prospering. Ya know who else loves America? The Asian business owners who have made a good life for themselves with hair salons, Subway restaurants, 7-Elevens, etc. You know who else loves America? Ambitious, talented African immigrants who work their tales off and have carved out great new lives here. And the Indian immigrants who become engineers and doctors. And the Canadian actors and actresses and musicians who flock to the land of opportunity. And my hick, redneck college roommate who now has an engineering degree, a beautiful wife and a big, nice house in the suburbs. And the poor blacks like Herman Cain who rose above adversity and made a life for themselves. And my best friend's girlfriend's hick, redneck brothers who live in the middle of nowhere in Ohio but are internet millionaires.

I'll take poor in America over entitlement Europe all day. Why? Because I'd rather have a 1% chance of making a difference in this world than no chance. Without hope there is nothing left to live for.

Edit: these aren't isolated incidents, btw. The entire state university system in the United States is chock full of lower class and lower middle class kids who have chosen to change the trajectory of their lives.

I would argue your chances of "making the difference" (which i find overrated) are higher in canada and western europe, but hey, old myths die hard. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-am...

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

Apr 9, 2012
El_Mono:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I'm a white, upper middle class male in the United States. I love America. Things are great. You know who else loves America? My Bolivian immigrant business partner whose parents were Bolivian-educated engineers who made a better life for themselves in the cleaning business in the United States--now their sons are prospering. Ya know who else loves America? The Asian business owners who have made a good life for themselves with hair salons, Subway restaurants, 7-Elevens, etc. You know who else loves America? Ambitious, talented African immigrants who work their tales off and have carved out great new lives here. And the Indian immigrants who become engineers and doctors. And the Canadian actors and actresses and musicians who flock to the land of opportunity. And my hick, redneck college roommate who now has an engineering degree, a beautiful wife and a big, nice house in the suburbs. And the poor blacks like Herman Cain who rose above adversity and made a life for themselves. And my best friend's girlfriend's hick, redneck brothers who live in the middle of nowhere in Ohio but are internet millionaires.

I'll take poor in America over entitlement Europe all day. Why? Because I'd rather have a 1% chance of making a difference in this world than no chance. Without hope there is nothing left to live for.

Edit: these aren't isolated incidents, btw. The entire state university system in the United States is chock full of lower class and lower middle class kids who have chosen to change the trajectory of their lives.

I would argue your chances of "making the difference" (which i find overrated) are higher in canada and western europe, but hey, old myths die hard. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-am...

Your conclusion is the type of conclusion one gets by either 1) not reading the entire article or 2) purposely omitting a glaring fact that the article cites:

And I quote:

"Skeptics caution that the studies measure "relative mobility" -- how likely children are to move from their parents' place in the income distribution. That is different from asking whether they have more money. Most Americans have higher incomes than their parents because the country has grown richer.

Some conservatives say this measure, called absolute mobility, is a better gauge of opportunity. A Pew study found that 81 percent of Americans have higher incomes than their parents (after accounting for family size). There is no comparable data on other countries.

Since they require two generations of data, the studies also omit immigrants, whose upward movement has long been considered an American strength. "If America is so poor in economic mobility, maybe someone should tell all these people who still want to come to the U.S.," said Stuart M. Butler, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

The income compression in rival countries may also make them seem more mobile. Reihan Salam, a writer for The Daily and National Review Online, has calculated that a Danish family can move from the 10th percentile to the 90th percentile with $45,000 of additional earnings, while an American family would need an additional $93,000."

Apr 9, 2012
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I'm a white, upper middle class male in the United States. I love America. Things are great. You know who else loves America? My Bolivian immigrant business partner whose parents were Bolivian-educated engineers who made a better life for themselves in the cleaning business in the United States--now their sons are prospering. Ya know who else loves America? The Asian business owners who have made a good life for themselves with hair salons, Subway restaurants, 7-Elevens, etc. You know who else loves America? Ambitious, talented African immigrants who work their tales off and have carved out great new lives here. And the Indian immigrants who become engineers and doctors. And the Canadian actors and actresses and musicians who flock to the land of opportunity. And my hick, redneck college roommate who now has an engineering degree, a beautiful wife and a big, nice house in the suburbs. And the poor blacks like Herman Cain who rose above adversity and made a life for themselves. And my best friend's girlfriend's hick, redneck brothers who live in the middle of nowhere in Ohio but are internet millionaires.

I'll take poor in America over entitlement Europe all day. Why? Because I'd rather have a 1% chance of making a difference in this world than no chance. Without hope there is nothing left to live for.

Edit: these aren't isolated incidents, btw. The entire state university system in the United States is chock full of lower class and lower middle class kids who have chosen to change the trajectory of their lives.

As someone who literally won the green card lottery to come to America and has since "made it" in the eyes of many people, this is spot on. I used to think it was all just talk, but in this country if you're smart, ambitious, and driven, there is actually nothing stopping you. That's certainly not the case in the Eastern European country I'm from (well duh), and seems to also be more difficult in many Western European countries.

Apr 9, 2012

I suddenly feel much better about the U.S.' financial situation. Thanks

Apr 9, 2012

I hate these mobility conversations. Go get an accounting degree at a cheap, public university and work hard and you will have a comfortable life. Sorry if it isn't as easy as waking up and getting a check handed to you.

America is the land of opportunity. No one ever said that opportunity would be easy.

Apr 9, 2012

I would argue your chances of "making the difference" (which i find overrated) are higher in canada and western europe, but hey, old myths die hard.

Yes, if you are born in the same country where you're trying to make a difference. Try being a foreigner in France or Germany and please let me know how easy it is and how you are not discriminated against.

Apr 10, 2012
N.R.G.:

I would argue your chances of "making the difference" (which i find overrated) are higher in canada and western europe, but hey, old myths die hard.

Yes, if you are born in the same country where you're trying to make a difference. Try being a foreigner in France or Germany and please let me know how easy it is and how you are not discriminated against.

I am a foreigner in Germany and I have not been discriminated against ever since I arrived. The thing is that speaking the language is important, and being german and french harder languages to learn than english, it would be harder to perform as a non-native speaker. Now, if you speak perfect german, I dont believe you will have it harder at all in Germany than in the states, but hey,maybe you know what youre talking about better than me...

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

Apr 10, 2012
El_Mono:
N.R.G.:

I would argue your chances of "making the difference" (which i find overrated) are higher in canada and western europe, but hey, old myths die hard.

Yes, if you are born in the same country where you're trying to make a difference. Try being a foreigner in France or Germany and please let me know how easy it is and how you are not discriminated against.

I am a foreigner in Germany and I have not been discriminated against ever since I arrived. The thing is that speaking the language is important, and being german and french harder languages to learn than english, it would be harder to perform as a non-native speaker. Now, if you speak perfect german, I dont believe you will have it harder at all in Germany than in the states, but hey,maybe you know what youre talking about better than me...

Perhaps I know what I'm talking about because I've spent a lot of time working in Europe. I've also worked with Germans and let's just say that the xenophobic and racist remarks I've heard in a casual conversation and seemed normal to them would have been highly inappropriate in the US. Not to say there's absolutely no racism in the US, but I got the impression that here people are more tolerant and accommodating regardless of your ethnicity.

I could cite a lot of anecdotes about Germany, UK, etc. but that's not the point. The point is that you were saying how you can make more of a difference in WE than in the US, which I don't find to be the case. First, if you're an immigrant, you won't have an easier time in the EU - even if you want to assume that it's a wash, my argument still holds. Second, the level of bureaucracy is higher in Europe. And third, the access to capital is harder. I don't exactly see how WE is better in any of these respects and these are the things I would compare across countries when deciding where to settle and start a business.

Apr 10, 2012
Comment
Apr 10, 2012