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Thread: Smile if you're European!

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    Default Smile if you're European!

    Good piece in today's FT putting a bit of perspective on the quality of life in Europe, even where it ain't going so great at the moment: Smile if you’re European - FT.com

    Here are a few extracts, but it's worth reading the whole article even if you have to buy the paper!!

    Europe is having a terrible time Ė except compared with probably every other continent and any time in history. Look at crisis-stricken Spain, for instance. The average Spaniard now lives to 82, seven years longer than in 1980. (Most countries where people can expect to reach 82 are European, says the World Health Organisation.) Today that average Spaniardís income, despite years of crisis, is still nearly double what it was in 1980. And across Europe, daily life has tended to get gradually more pleasant. For instance, crime rates have kept falling in most western countries despite the crisis. British streets havenít been this safe in more than 30 years, according to the UKís Office of National Statistics.

    Itís important to realise that most peopleís lives arenít affected by the latest twist in the eurozone crisis. A good new breast-cancer drug often does more for collective happiness than a good new prime minister. And those gains get shared out most fairly in Europe. Thatís why seven of the 10 best-rating countries on the World Economic Forumís gender gap index are European. So are six of the top 10 least corrupt in Transparency Internationalís corruption perception index. And when the CIA ranked 136 countries for income equality, the 17 most equal were all European. No wonder Spain and even Greece outrank Qatar on the United Nationsí human development index.

    Most emerging economies lag decades behind us: Russian, Brazilian and Chinese average incomes are still below half those in Greece, according to the World Bank. Nonetheless, the relative rise of new countries engenders paranoia. The American pundit Thomas Friedman often says China and India are ďeating our lunchĒ. But since the global economy isnít a zero-sum game, itís more accurate to say that the Chinese and Indians are making our lunch.

    [...]

    Itís also notable how well European democracies have held up under five years of crisis. In 1981, when shots were fired in Spainís parliament, that average Spaniard still worried about a fascist coup. Today every western European country is a secure democracy. Contrary to predictions, Europeís far right hasnít risen en masse during the crisis, notes the London-based research and advisory group Counterpoint. Nor has western Europe experienced a big terrorist atrocity since 2005.

    A decade ago, American pundits were predicting that anti-Semitism or vengeful Muslim immigrants or both would rip Europe apart. Indeed, in 2004, the American ambassador to the European Union, Rockwell Schnabel, said continental anti-Semitism was ďgetting to a point where it is as bad as it was in the 1930sĒ. That claim was always ludicrous, but its ludicrousness should now be plain even to Schnabel. In short: several dogs havenít barked in Europe this crisis
    I particularly like the "In short" comment. I think we've pulled through the worst of the crisis. But regardless of its longevity, all countries have remained within the Eurozone. Civil disturbances have been localised and not EZ-wide. There's a widespread understanding that the problems of excessive debt are being acknowledged. Europeans are broadly living with negative consequences relatively stoically, and will most likely support a structure which prevents the worst from happening again.

    In the round, most Europeans accept they have a quality of life worth protecting. I think they're coming around to the realisation that it's worth trading the worst excesses of boom and bust cycles for a less dramatic "Goldilocks"-style economy. The EZ is a pretty good template in this regard.


    ... and finally
    Our crisis wonít last for ever. Then it will be another continentís turn to get caned by pundits for its stupid model.
    Will "sneerleaders" like Thomas Friedman and Rockwell Schnabel then be honest enough to turn their ire on the US?

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    Politics.ie Member Prester Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McDave View Post
    Good piece in today's FT putting a bit of perspective on the quality of life in Europe, even where it ain't going so great at the moment: Smile if youíre European - FT.com

    Here are a few extracts, but it's worth reading the whole article even if you have to buy the paper!!



    I particularly like the "In short" comment. I think we've pulled through the worst of the crisis. But regardless of its longevity, all countries have remained within the Eurozone. Civil disturbances have been localised and not EZ-wide. There's a widespread understanding that the problems of excessive debt are being acknowledged. Europeans are broadly living with negative consequences relatively stoically, and will most likely support a structure which prevents the worst from happening again.

    In the round, most Europeans accept they have a quality of life worth protecting. I think they're coming around to the realisation that it's worth trading the worst excesses of boom and bust cycles for a less dramatic "Goldilocks"-style economy. The EZ is a pretty good template in this regard.


    ... and finally


    Will "sneerleaders" like Thomas Friedman and Rockwell Schnabel then be honest enough to turn their ire on the US?
    Yeah, we really are the 1%.
    Its the 0.1% we should hate.
    Quick get them!


    But seriously, the US has a massively larger deficit than we do, check out D4s signature for confirmation.

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    Politics.ie Member Dublin 4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McDave View Post
    I think we've pulled through the worst of the crisis.
    This is from the chump who said the EZ was stabilising in June '10 before all the Bailouts & Election of Grillo etc petunia


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    Is this another Eurozone is stabilising thread? petunia
    ĎThe Great only appear great because we are on our knees: Let Us Rise!í ď (James Larkin)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dublin 4 View Post
    Sneerleaders of the world unite.

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    Politics.ie Member Northsideman's Avatar
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    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
    George Orwell

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    Drivel, just total drivel,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulster-Lad View Post
    Is this another Eurozone is stabilising thread? petunia
    Oh, that one's doing quite fine thank you, now that you ask [http://www.politics.ie/forum/eu/1318...bilising.html]]

    This one is an opportunity to consider the upside of life in Europe. Sunny side up, and all that. Hope it doesn't upset you too much!!

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    Politics.ie Member sic transit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ribeye View Post
    Drivel, just total drivel,
    Ah so it annoyed you?
    "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Ernest Hemingway

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    Politics.ie Member Ulster-Lad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ribeye View Post
    Drivel, just total drivel,
    But McDave doesn't like the FT because they don't accurately report anything according to himself.
    ĎThe Great only appear great because we are on our knees: Let Us Rise!í ď (James Larkin)

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