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What does Smeeding cite for the reason of being able to easily go from "rags to riches" in welfare-state Europe than in America?
- He argues that welfare programs plus capitalism "makes nations rich". In the US public education is considered welfare.
- Reasons: The United States has lost its historic lead in eduaction, including the percentage of citizens with college degrees. Europe has free Pre-K through Higher Education. The well to do can afford to pay for their children's education while others cannot, making it harder for those stuck in an economic class to stay there. Alamost all of the growth in income recently has been limited to those Americans with college eduations.
What Scandinavian countries do differently (than GB and France) to maintain higher economic growth rates and lower umemployment?
- Scandinavian countries don't try to guarantee job security with rigid rules against firing, like the French, but offer serious job job retraining along with unemployment insurance to ease the transition to new jobs.
- Another difference may be that continental European countries like Gremany finance more of their welfare programs through add ons to paychecks. Paid by the employer but deducted from the workers net pay. It drives low wage workers away from work, it's too expensive for employers and it contributes to high unemployment, especially among the low skilled.
Differences between America and Europe poll: "Europeans and Americans See Government Role Differently."
- 36% of Europeans belive people are rewarded for their effort compared to 61% of Americans.
- 40% Europeans believe people are rewarded for their intelligence and skills, compared to 69% of Americans.
- 28% of Europeans believe coming from a wealthy family is essential/very important for getting ahead, compared to 19% of Americans.
- 85% of Europeans belive differences in income in the country are too large, compared to 62% of America.
- 69% Europeans believe it is the responsibility of the government to reduce the differences in income, compared to 33% of Americans.
What reforms are the British government proposing to address its budget deficit and overall debt?
- Enforcing financial penalties against welfare recipients who who don't take job offers.
- Impose work requirements on signle mothers once their the age of 10 will be reduced to 5 yrs. (America is 6mo.)
- It will raise the value of the child tax credit for the poorest and cushing them from middle-class cuts. (trying to eliminate child poverty)
- Mothers are being offered much more generous child care than ever before. (Employment for single mothers has jumped up 12%)
- Increase in British Sales Tax " "Value Added Tax."
- Britain is also promoting Marriage.
Happest People (Denmark): Danes have a "good life" (governement pays for education and health care, for instance) but what is the downside of socialism in Denmark?
- We are the 23rd happiest Country.
- Danes pay half of their income for taxes.
- Have low expectations.
- They are usually glum, and become so happy when things turn out not so bad.
- Less powerful.
Cuban Economic Reforms: Fidel Castro's comments about the Cuban Model of government.
"Cuban Model does not even work for us anymore" Fidel Castro said it was taken out of context, it may have been a "gaff" when a politician accidentally tells the truth.