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Thread: Crisis Imperils Liberal Benefits Long Expected by Europeans

  1. #11
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    Re: Crisis Imperils Liberal Benefits Long Expected by Europeans

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Payback Time - Deficit Crisis Threatens Ample Benefits of European Life - NYTimes.com



    The gist of this article should not come as a surprise to anyone, but the specifics astonished me. 50% of French people retire by age 50? Are you kidding me?

    We need to be doing everything we can to avoid falling into the same trap, to the extent that we haven't already done so.
    France is also one of the hardest places to lay anyone off. I remember a contract was expiring that required a presence in France but even after it was up we could not let them go even though they were no use to us because of the labor laws.
    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

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    Re: Crisis Imperils Liberal Benefits Long Expected by Europeans

    Well, in France it is one of the hardest places to be laid off if you have a contract--excluding criteria include being Black, Muslim or under 30 years old. I mean, there's a reason they decide to burn down cars every four or five years.

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    Re: Crisis Imperils Liberal Benefits Long Expected by Europeans

    Quote Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
    No wonder Europeans always rate themselves happier than Americans.

    It's a completely different culture and way of looking at the world. They pay huge taxes (based on American standards) in exchange for month long holidays, full health care, free college, and early retirement. And that's what they want. They figure they're getting their money's worth.

    Of course, when the economy crumbles, it hurts, but hey, it hurts us too.
    While I am none too certain about mainland Europe.
    Within the UK, yes they pay horrendous taxes but they get up to 6 weeks vacation per year, Full Health care but may be required to pay towards prescribed medications (unless they are Diabetic, in which case it is free), Free College is not available, early retirement is also not available.
    And yes they do seem content or rather more so than citizens in the US, but then they are not subjected to as restricted a lifestyle that US citizens are.

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    Re: Crisis Imperils Liberal Benefits Long Expected by Europeans

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Do you have a more substantive response than this?
    It is substantive.

    First off they focus as usual on France. France aint Europe, there are 30+ other nations than France. But because France is the usual punching bag for American's when it comes to anything European, then France is focused on. I repeat, France is not Europe. France does not represent European welfare in any way.

    Secondly they comment on Spain using joining the Euro as an excuse to start up a massive welfare system. That is so incorrect. It is a laughable comment to say the least, and show a total lack of knowledge on Spain and European affairs. The Spanish welfare system was started after the civil war to care for the many wounded and disabled people from this war.

    Thirdly, it is a typical over generalization with twisted facts. Greece does not have a retirement age of 55 years. The private sector has a retirement age of 62 or so. It is the public retirement age that is low, but to make the biggest impact they claim that the over all retirement age is 55. But Joschka Fischer word is taken as fact because it looks good. How about independent research? The average retirement age in Europe is only slightly lower than in the US for example.

    Fourthly, it comes with one economic claim after another without much basis to support the comments. For example when it compares Gross public social expenditures vs GDP.

    Figures show the severity of the problem. Gross public social expenditures in the European Union increased from 16 percent of gross domestic product in 1980 to 21 percent in 2005, compared with 15.9 percent in the United States. In France, the figure now is 31 percent, the highest in Europe, with state pensions making up more than 44 percent of the total and health care, 30 percent.
    Its links are for France with a French focus, yet it claims "the European Union". And then to push home the Francofobe comments it promotes one set of figures with comparison to the US and not others. Funny enough it does not compare figures when it comes to healthcare.. wonder why..

    Fifthly it uses the widely spread debunked demographics issues that Europe faces. Yes Europe is getting older and so what. So is the US and many other countries. We aint a 3rd world country with 20 children in a mud hut for god sake. What it forgets to mention is that birth rates among "natives" is climbing... but it does mention that they are falling.. yea they were... 20 years ago, which is probably where they got their figures. One can at least be thankful that they did not mention muslims as being a threat.

    And finally it is a typical American focused article starting out with the idea that welfare systems are bad and left wing politics are bad. Just look at the title and subtitle. Just look at the typical right wing comment on America protecting Europe with its nuclear shield and so on. Fine, if the article brings that in, then that should also be mentioned when comparing to the US.. military budgets gone crazy. But no, nothing is mentioned.. and military budgets are social programs also in many ways.

    So yes it is a hit piece, so my comment was very substantial.
    PeteEU

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