America & Europe
From the ongoing series things I repeat all the time:
We Americans cherish our myths. One myth is that there is more social mobility in the United States than in Europe. That's false. Another myth is that the government is smaller here than in Europe. That's largely false, too.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently calculated how much each affluent country spends on social programs. When you include both direct spending and tax expenditures, the U.S. has one of the biggest welfare states in the world. We rank behind Sweden and ahead of Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Canada. Social spending in the US is far above the organization's average.
Note that the reverse is true too: Europeans like to think that they have a bigger social net than the US, which is not true. Some EU states do have a better social net (not all), but it is not bigger.
Once you look beyond rhetoric and into policy, the US is a Northern European economy (if anything, it's on track to being less free-market than Nordic Europe as they become more free-market and the US becomes less so).blog comments powered by Disqus