PeakTrader.com Forum Index PeakTrader.com
Economics, Portfolio Optimization, and Technical Analysis
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Log inFast Charts

Debate on Living Standards

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic     PeakTrader.com Forum Index -> Book In Progress
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
administrator
Site Admin


Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 10288

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject: Debate on Living Standards Reply with quote

Germany has created about 800,000 jobs over the past year.
They have severe shortages in Skilled workers because of the export boom and also the Renewable Energy Boom which now employs 300,000 workers in Germany,growing 25% yearly!

German Manufacturing is Growing and The EU Manufacturing sector is growing having close to 40 million manufcturing jobs?
The EU is the largest Exporter both in services and merchandise.
The average Tuition in a Private USA University is $35,000 yearly, for a Public University it is $17,000 yearly not including other expenses.
A Medical Student in Many Cases over the course of their studies spend over $300,000.

You do the Math if in Germany it is Free or $1000 Yearly!
And they also Grant up to $600 Euros Monthly for living expenses while studying up to the age of 30.
Doctors in Germany may make on average $70,000-$80,000 per year(more if specialized)but they have very low malpractice insurance costs compared to America and very, very cheap Education if not Free along with much shorter working hours!

The average starting wage for a Teacher in Germany is $45,000 Euros+Retirement,Vacation Money,Health insurance,etc.
And they have a shortage of Teachers!
My Girlfriends Son Graduated from a German University this year and had 5 job offers, currently he works in Hamburg with an Advertising Firm.
Germany has a Huge Current Account Surplus, now the Government also has a balanced budget along with much lower Consumer and Corporate Debt levels compared to America.

Explain why in 2006 the US Economy added $6.30 of new debt for every $1.00 in GDP Growth. (Government, State, Corporate, Consumers and Trade debts for example)
Germany has been the largest Creditor Nation on the planet for the last 6 years.
The European Union has Created over 18 million since 1999.
IN 2006 Europe Created 3.5 Million new Jobs.
Germany and America do not use the same Measuring Sticks when comparing GDP Growth and inflation.

The USA uses Deflaters, Computer power and software purchases along with other measures Hedeonic Inflaters which Europe does not use.
IF Europe used the same Measuring Methods as the USA, their Growth Rate would increase from 3% to 9%.
Why don't we start using the same stats when comparing the countries?
And since 2000 America is 7-8 million jobs short of Keeping up with Population Growth.
Most of the Jobs created were in Healthcare or low wage services, I guess this is Success???

The Mercer Survey states in 2006 that the average pay in the USA was ranked 20th worldwide.
Switerland and Germany are the top countries in pay along with Hong Kong, Japan, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada,etc.
The World's best benefits are located in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany and Switerland on average.
America has the highest poverty rate in the modern world with a Gini-index approaching 50.
Germany is 28 and Denmark is 24.

25% of Americans take no Vacation and the average Vacation time per year is 1 week.
Welfare reform in America has basically shredded our safety nets.
50 Million with no Health Insurance
150 million more with partial coverage or weak coverage.
Per Capita income for a Female is $20,000 and for a Male it is $30,000-before taxes.

Take the Median of the 2 per capita income, ($25,000) take the taxes and other health insurance costs out- 25% to 30% of income.
Take home pay for many Americans would be $18,000 or $19,000 yearly with little or no social benefits!
The Eurodollar is $1.45 to the US Dollar so convert the $19,000 to Eurodollars- $10,500 Euros!
The Healthcare is ranked 37th
The average lifespan for Americans is ranked 47th compared to other countries.

Posted by: thomas riccardo | Sunday, November 04, 2007 at 04:35 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thomas, I've shown you before in detail how many of your statements and the implications of your statements are false. The E.U. economy, in general, continues to lag the U.S. economy, because of too many anti-growth/business policies, inefficient allocation of resources, suboptimal improvements in living standards, etc.

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Monday, November 05, 2007 at 08:49 AM

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All very good tr. Just hunky-dory.

Then, pray tell, why has Germany had an historic unemployment rate of over 6% since the early 1980s - that is, for more than a quarter of a century. Why has it had an unemployment rate closer to 9% for almost a decade?

Why has it been unable to reduce unemployment in former East Germany below double-digits, since the Berlin Wall came tumbling down?

Why is German youth unemployment rate stagnating at 14%, up from 5% in 1990?

Why was German long-term unemployment at 54%! (of total, 2005) versus 10% in Canada, or 20% in Australia?

Why, in terms of Happiness, do German polls show the country below these:
16 Germany 7.2
17 United Kingdom 7.1
18 Spain 7.0
19 Italy 6.9
19 Mexico 6.9
21 France 6.6
22 Czech Republic 6.4
23 Greece 6.3
24 Japan 6.2
25 Portugal 6.1
26 Poland 5.9
27 South Korea 5.8
28 Hungary 5.7
29 Slovakia 5.4
30 Turkey 5.3

You aren't looking at Germany through rosy glasses?

Posted by: Lafayette | Monday, November 05, 2007 at 09:07 AM

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Europe has Created more jobs then America since 1999.
Newsweek,Businessweek and the Economist have already stated this over the past several years.
Europe's job Growth is over 1% annually.
Germany's Engineering and Science Sectors are second to no Nation!
The Proof- They won the Chemistry and Physics Nobel Prizes this year!
Europe Publishes more Scientific Research Papers then the USA since 1995!

Germany Exports 1.4 Trillion dollars yearly in Merchandies and services.
The EU is well over 2 trillion in annual exports, dwarfing the USA!
Do you think Americans are happy?
Half of the population takes prescription drugs for mental illness including depression.
With 8 million citizens in the US Correctional system(probation, Prison, Parole,etc) we may not be a very free country either.
That number was about 1 million in the 1970's.
And Why does the Mercer Survey indicate Americans pay are ranked 20th while their Healthcare is 37th?
Why is our average Life Expectency 47th?

And the Happy Planet Index, Americans and Russians were almost at the bottom of the chart!
Why has American Genuine Progress Indicator been in Decline since 1979?
Europe Dominates the Top Positions along with a few other countries around the world.
And since the only thing you understand is GDP why did America add $6.30 of debt for every dollar of GDP Growth in 2006? (Government, Company, Trade, Consumer debts,etc).
That does not look very good and could be a reason for the Dollars Free Fall!!!!!

Posted by: thomas riccardo | Monday, November 05, 2007 at 05:47 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Doubting Thomas: "Germany's Engineering and Science Sectors are second to no Nation!"

Right, that's why Germany has soooo many Noble Prize winners and scores soooo high in technology patents.

The best German engineers are working in America, because any technology they develop will find it quicker to the market and, when/if it makes a market, their stock-options won't be taxed to nothingness.

No company in their right mind would open up a manufacturing plant in Germany. Engineering design, yes. But, not manufacturing. Which is why German design engineers have their products manufactured in either the Czech Republic or Slovakia or Poland or ...

I saw a report recently (ARTE) about a German company that pulled back its production from Slovenia because the products "were not up to German quality standards". It made me laugh. Instead of tightening the standards with better QC procedures, they prefer to manufacture a product that is too expensive for any market other than in Germany. Smart, that. Real smart.

DT: "And Why does the Mercer Survey indicate Americans pay are ranked 20th while their Healthcare is 37th?"

And what is Mercer's rank for pay in Germany? It'll give you a hint why German companies are dislocating production to Eastern Europe?

You are right about Health Care -- I'll grant you that. (But, you are wrong to think German engineers are inventing the technology at the core of the best Health Care systems today.)

DT: "And since the only thing you understand is GDP why did America add $6.30 of debt for every dollar of GDP Growth in 2006?"

Because the Chinese like to hold dollar debt? Next idiot question, please?

Frankly, in the EU and US comparison, I do think that the EU comes out best. Especially in quality of life. The Mercer study places 13 European capitals above New York City in that ranking.

But, the one area where it is decidedly worse is innovation (time to market of innovative products) and venture capital (ready access to start-up capital for new product/services ideas). Both are key to a dynamic industrial/commercial base.

PS: I can't imagine why you go on with this silly contest of factoids. Do you think it's like playing football, the one with the most points wins the game? Or, are you on a propaganda contract for the German government? (Probably the only work you are good at.) Germany cannot be measured against the US. The EU can. Try comparing Germany against California and add a dash of New York or Washington state. Then you might have socio-demographic entities that are comparable -- and a debate worth continuing.

Posted by: Lafayette | Tuesday, November 06, 2007 at 01:25 PM

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not only does the E.U. economy, in general, continue to lag the U.S. economy, because of too many anti-growth/business policies, inefficient allocation of resources, and suboptimal improvements in living standards, there are also too many disincentives and unnecessary costs. Furthermore, when evaluating income redistribution, it's also important to look at the consumption side to determine inequality. When some of that income is spent on "sin-goods," then income redistribution, in an attempt to decrease inequality (of living standards), can increase inequality instead.

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Wednesday, November 07, 2007 at 08:16 AM

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Given that the GINI index in the US is more akin to a developing country and the EU states have a more equal distribution of income, it appears that the previous poster does not know what he is talking about. I think you will find that the current GDP per capita of the EU, particularly that of the Eurozone, when measured in euro is roughly equivalent or higher than that of the US.

Posted by: Montelatici | Wednesday, November 07, 2007 at 11:31 AM

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AE: "Not only does the E.U. economy ... continue to lag the U.S. economy (in) ... suboptimal improvements in living standards"

Perhaps on economic growth, but you make the mistake of thinking, like many Americans, that growth is the raison d'Ítre of economic development.

It isn't -- quality of life is. And, as regards that attribute, here are the top 10 cities worldwide from a study (Mercer Resources Consulting and based on detailed assessments and evaluations of 39 key quality of living determinants):

1 ZURICH --108.1
2 GENEVA -- 108.0
3 VANCOUVER -- 107.7
4 VIENNA -- 107.7
5 AUCKLAND -- 107.3
6 DUSSELDORF -- 107.3
7 FRANKFURT -- 107.1
8 MUNICH -- 106.9
9 BERN -- 106.5
9 SYDNEY -- 106.5
11 COPENHAGEN -- 106.2

Honolulu finally comes in at 27th with a nonetheless respectable score of 103.1. When America learns how to transform growth into acceptable, uniform living standards, I'll let you know.

It has a way to go, being a plutocracy.

Posted by: Lafayette | Wednesday, November 07, 2007 at 01:34 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lafayette, most studies based on subjective criteria are meaningless. For example, San Jose California, the big city in Silicon Valley, is not even in the top 10. Some can't have it both ways, i.e. believe there are too many rich people in the U.S., while there are no top rich cities, or U.S. living standards are too high for some and too low for others without the cities to support that claim. Also, if you look at the 10-year U.S. housing boom, almost all the construction, i.e. expansion, took place in middle and upper class neighborhoods. So, there's been substantial upward mobility. Poor U.S. cities would have become ghost towns, except millions of Third World immigrants moved into them, because living standards are better in poor U.S. neighborhoods than in their foreign countries.

Monte, the Gini coefficient only reflects the production side of the economy. When the consumption side is included, you may find E.U. inequalities in living standards are worse than the U.S. Also, U.S. per capita income was over $10,000 a year higher than E.U. per capita income in 2006, after the dollar already depreciated substantially from the initial $1.18 per Euro parity (see link below). The dollar has not depreciated enough since then to change that difference much. Moreover, changes in currency exchange rates basically don't correct E.U. deficiencies, e.g. listed above. Europeans can increase their living standards by selling their assets, exchanging their Euros for dollars, and moving to the U.S.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 03:19 AM

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AE: " .. most studies based on subjective criteria are meaningless."

And most generalization such as this are balderdash. Such studies are indicative of a present state, if conducted correctly.

In this case, for that matter, the study was not made by first year economics students but by a reputable company, that sells this information to other reputable companies.

It always disappoints when people use this lame argument in rebuttal.

Posted by: Lafayette | Thursday, November 08, 2007 at 10:32 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lafayette, it seems, the Mercer study was done by accountants, not economists. Below is a study by economists. The Nobel Prize economist who created the index stated: "It's a vulgar measure because of its limitations." These type of studies implicitly place more weight on relative living standards within countries than absolute living standards. Obviously, U.S. absolute living standards are higher, given the U.S. leads the E.U. by far on both the production and consumption sides, while there's greater U.S. upward mobility.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Friday, November 09, 2007 at 09:04 AM

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The USA has much higher inflation then Germany since the 1970's when we went off the Gold Standard in 1971.
And the USA Dollar has lost termendous amounts of value against most Major Currencies since that time.
Car Insurance is Higher.
House Insurance is Higher.
Food Inflation is Higher.
House Inflation has been Higher.
College Tuition is much Higher in the USA versus Germany.

Germany uses 50% less energy per GDP output versus the USA- the reason is their homes are built better on average and use less energy, most of the new Car purchases in Germany are Diesal which is 40% more efficient then Gasoline Engines and throughout their economy they are efficient in their energy usuage in their factories or elsewhere.
Now they are also the World Leaders in Renewable Energy usuage and also Manufacturing/development.
Etc,etc

Germany spends 11% of GDP on Healthcare, the USA spends 17%, about 50% higher and 50 million are not covered with Insurance along with many Millions more who only have partial coverage.
This is why the Euro is Higher, the inflation is lower meaning less Corruption so far.
The more money one prints out of thin air in excess of real economic Growth the more the Country will lose it's standard of living.
Most people I speak to have indicated to me that of course our standard has declined since the 1970's.

It is the propaganda from the Media Outlets which try to cover the tracks of the Whores who have been stealing the country blind.
On most studies I've read lately, the USA mobility has stalled.
The Gini Index has risen to almost 50.
And you don't want to compare exchange rate values?

I remember when the US Dollar was high in the 1990's that was the main indicator the Media used to compare the USA to other countries.
The most expensive place I've seen in Europe on average was the UK.
The UK really does not have a very strong economy compared to some other modern countries around the world.

Posted by: thomasriccardo | Friday, November 09, 2007 at 04:45 PM

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thomas, obviously, you didn't understand the other comments above. U.S. prices are much lower than Germany. The $800 billion a year U.S. trade deficits lowered U.S. prices and increased domestic competition, which lowered U.S. prices even more. U.S. houses are 50% larger than Germany's houses. Germany has labor immobility and wage rigidies, to go along with its deficient anti-growth/business policies, inefficient allocation of resources, suboptimal improvements in living standards, disincentives, unnecessary costs, greater consumption of "sin-goods," etc. When Germany's consumption side is included, there's greater inequality in Germany. A lot of money is wasted on Germany's equal and inferior health care system, etc. Germans can increase their living standards substantially by selling their assets, exchanging their Euros for dollars, and moving to the U.S.

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Friday, November 09, 2007 at 08:14 PM

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TR: "The UK really does not have a very strong economy compared to some other modern countries around the world."

Strong enough to have maintained half the unemployment of Germany over the past decade.

And, that is ALL that matters.

Posted by: Lafayette | Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 04:06 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Moreover, I may add, there are many factors that explain why prices in Germany are substantially higher than the U.S., which slow improvements in German living standards, e.g. additional risks by German firms to invest, because of anti-business policies, labor laws that create inflexibilities, trade policies that limit imports and spur exports for smaller gains of trade, etc. Furthermore, I may add, what may be considered luxury goods in Germany, e.g. a quality college education, is a normal good in the U.S. The WHO ranked U.S. health care below Cuba. However, 60% of the WHO's criteria are based on inequality. The WHO admitted the U.S. is #1 in two areas; labor and capital, e.g. doctors, nurses, equipment, technology, etc. 85% of Americans have health insurance and the other 15% qualify for subsidized or free health care. In the U.S., no one is turned away from medical care. The $2 trillion a year U.S. health care industry is an important component of the U.S. economy, that partially reflects U.S. progress in the Information and Biotech Revolutions.

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 05:42 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

AE: "... 85% of Americans have health insurance and the other 15% qualify for subsidized or free health care."

Bollocks ... amazing how much one can lie to save a forlorn argument. Fifteen percent of the workforce (not the population) at any moment (since it changes depending upon a number of factors, but namely unemployment) have none whatsoever, and of the 85%, as much as 30% is minimal and does not cover totally.

As a propaganda wind-mill, you're the TOP, AE.

You remind us of lead-head-in-chief and his inane notion that ER is Health Care for the everyone "who just goes there".

Posted by: Lafayette | Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 12:23 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lafayette, my statements are based on orthodox economics, mathematics, and real data, which seem to elude you to a large extent. It's important to note, the U.S., which is a country of immigrants, is a much more diverse and fragmented society than Scandinavian and Western European countries. U.S. economic policies reflect that upward mobility and absolute living standards are more important than relative living standards.

Government managed social programs have proven to reduce inequality at the expense of upward mobility and absolute living standards, while the free market tends to promote upward mobility and raise absolute living standards for almost everyone at the expense of equality.

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 05:33 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Nordic Countries "success story" economies are a joke. I've been living here last couple of years after being dragged here by my wife, and trying to run your business here is tough. It just isn't a business friendly place at all. taxes in Denmark are 60-odd% as soon as you have the cheek to earn more than £35,000 a year!

My guess is that 50-70% of the population are in government jobs, and they rely heavily on exports of oil, timber and fish in order to generate the foreign earnings to pay for it all.

Posted by: Alan | Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 08:56 PM

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

AE: "Government managed social programs have proven to reduce inequality at the expense of upward mobility and absolute living standards, while the free market tends to promote upward mobility and raise absolute living standards for almost everyone at the expense of equality."

Yes, and so? What are you promoting today? A bit of inequality is good for everyone?

Explain.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by: Lafayette | Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 05:49 AM

Lafayette, hopefully, I'm consistant promoting fundamentally sound or solid economics. For example, I disagreed with your statement there are free lunches. I was technically wrong, because productivity can create free lunches, e.g. producing 11 instead of 10 at the same cost. However, the aggregate quantity and quality of lunches are important. Everything in economics is interrelated. The best economists may change their beliefs when proven wrong, rather than change the truth. Smile

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 09:00 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AE: I was technically wrong, because productivity can create free lunches, e.g. producing 11 instead of 10 at the same cost.

Productivity is no "free lunch". And, if you think so, it is because you don't understand how it is provoked.

It is not some silly statistic that shows we got more bang for the buck or the man-hours worked. I have said, in this forum, that there is no way in hell that I will ever believe that French hourly productivity is 1% better than its American counterpart. I am therefore VERY suspicious of productivity statistics. (I have worked/managed in both environments and I feel I know the difference well.)

I will grant nonetheless that throwing Information Technology at production processes does enhance productivity. I believe this because I have managed many such an IT project in both manufacturing and processing.

Productivity just doesn't "happen". It must be provoked and provoked again. Companies should have a Productivity Tsar, but they don't. Country taxation should allow higher amortization rates for business processes that can prevent the dislocation totally of an industrial sector, but it doesn't. We are not, really, making any effort to prevent industrial dislocation -- but letting it happen under our noses.

America is hooked in narcosis to the productivity of cheap Chinese labor (for some base goods). Good luck, and it deserves highly the consequences to its standard of living of this misjudgement. The effects are evident already.

Posted by: Lafayette | Friday, November 16, 2007 at 12:09 PM

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's possible the E.U. has higher productivity than the U.S., in part, because of relatively higher E.U. unemployment and underemployment. Firms tend to hire the best workers first. The U.S. is closer to full employment and there seems to be more U.S. overtime, which both lower productivity (many unskilled U.S. workers without a high school diploma and/or barely speak english earn over $30,000 a year). Moreover, the U.S. offshores many productive jobs, e.g. because of declining prices (although quantities produced are high) or higher costs (e.g. energy costs), etc. U.S. productivity doesn't include the gains in U.S. imports, profits, investment, etc. from offshoring those productive jobs. Furthermore, emerging industries are much less productive than older industries. The U.S. leads the rest of the world combined in emerging industries. Also, the U.S. may have a younger workforce, or more diverse in age, which may lower productivity. I suggested above the quantity and quality of output are also important, which help explain why U.S. per capita income is over $10,000 a year higher, and U.S. living standards are substantially higher, than the E.U. The U.S. has benefited greatly from its trading relationship with China. Whatever consequences there are fall well short of the benefits.

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 07:29 PM

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AE: "I suggested above the quantity and quality of output are also important, which help explain why U.S. per capita income is over $10,000 a year higher, and U.S. living standards are substantially higher, than the E.U."

And, what the hell does that mean if a mortgage on a b-person family house is 75% more.

The problem with factoids is that they rarely make for sane arguments.

Posted by: Lafayette | Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 08:00 PM

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lafayette, the statement means the quantity and quality of output per person is higher in the U.S. than in the E.U., which is supported by fundamental economics and the data. I stated the following before (which is based on Say's Law):

"Just like the volume of output in itself will cause declining prices and induce demand, the volume of capital will in itself cause interest rates to fall and induce demand. The gains of U.S. assets increased faster than the gains of U.S. liabilities. Similarly, the increases in U.S. output exceeded the rises in U.S. inflation, which induced demand and raised living standards."

Posted by: Arthur Eckart | Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 10:26 PM
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic     PeakTrader.com Forum Index -> Book In Progress All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by PeakTrader 2.0.8 © 2001, 2002