Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Myth vs. Reality in the U.S. Economy

Cowboy Capitalism is an examination of many of the myths propounded by know-nothing pseudo- or anti-intellectuals. Here is a sample from the Cato Institute summary:
Myth: American wealth is debt financed.
Reality: Growth of wealth has outpaced debt, as the average American family increased its net worth by 50 percent between 1989 and 2001. (page 92)

Myth: Living standards are higher in Europe than in the United States.
Reality: The United States has the highest living standard of any major industrialized nation. Adjusted for price-level differences, per capita income in the United States exceeded the French level by 36 percent in 2003. At 42 and 44 percent, respectively, Germany and Italy lagged even further behind. (pages 78 and 87)

Myth: Long-term unemployment is a chronic problem in the United States; European job creation schemes work better.
Reality: In the United States 65 percent of unemployed people found new work in less than three months in 2002. In France, Germany, and Italy, that figure is only 26 percent, 17 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. (page 178)
[link provided by The Marginal Revolution, a daily must-read blog] But you know what? I'm not sure I believe everything in that summary. Check it out yourself and see if you do.
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