The Rose Garden and White House happenings: Off to the races

drummerboy said:

Smedley said:

nohero said:

Smedley said:

Relatedly, this report that shows many European middle class people would be lower class by U.S. standards. Which correspondingly means many people in the U.S. lower class would be the equivalent of middle class in Europe. The conclusion: "Overall, regardless of how middle class fortunes are analyzed, the material standard of living in the U.S. is estimated to be better than in most Western European countries examined. But to the extent that governments in Western Europe are more likely to provide services to households that may not be captured in household income, such as the National Health Service in the UK, it is possible that differences in the quality of life between the U.S. and Western Europe are narrower."

This is what that report is measuring: "The median disposable (after-tax) income of middle-class households in the U.S. was $60,884 in 2010. With the exception of Luxembourg – a virtual city-state where the median income was $71,799 – the disposable incomes of middle-class households in the other 10 Western European countries in the study trailed well behind the American middle class."

"Disposable income" is a meaningless comparison.  What are the comparative health care costs, support for families, education costs, etc.?

Yes, people in European countries may be taxed more.  Everybody knows that. But that's not the end of the analysis.

I suspect the folks at Pew Research Center are smart enough to not put out "meaningless comparisons". And not only publish such dreck, but actually leave it on their site for five years now! If the report is really  rubbish, Don't you think some astute reader such as yourself would have brought this fatal flaw to their attention by now, and they would have deleted or corrected the report? And poor Rakesh Kochhar, the author of the report -- he would have been fired or demoted. Or at least given a stern talking-to by his superiors, to shape up or ship out.   

Here's why it's a meaningless comparison. At no time does he allow for the fact that Europe has national health care systems, drastically lower drug prices (we spend 400B a year on drugs - which makes it part of our larger GDP), far lower education costs, etc.

But if it's from the Pew Research Center it must be the truth, and not subject to criticism.

Except for him mentioning that squarely in his conclusion which I posted verbatim. I guess you missed that part, whoops. 

So now Martin Feldstein, Milton Friedman, and Pew Research Center are on db's discredited list. That's quite a group.


drummerboy said:

Also, it's not so much that the Pew report is wrong. It's more like "so what"? What exactly is his point?

But I do think that ignoring some pretty drastic costs of living differences makes much of his argument moot. 

Except the report states: "They are also converted to purchasing power parity dollars, which adjusts for cost-of-living differences across countries."

You're really off your game today. 


Smedley said:.

I don't see how GDP Per Capita is not an indicator of opportunity. Yes it's an imperfect measure, it's a mean rather than a median, it doesn't take into account inequality and a number of things, etc. But ultimately, it indicates how much money there is to go around, and more to go around = more opportunity. It's math. 

I'm not surprised you don't see why your argument and the metric you're choosing to make it aren't convincing. All GDP indicates is how much wealth exists in the country. It says nothing about how much opportunity any of us has to share in it.

The World Economic Forum has a Global Social Mobility Index that measures how easy it is for people in a country to move up the social/economic ladder. I won't tell you what it says about the U.S. in the hopes that you'll go to a summary of it and perhaps you might see how GDP doesn't indicate what you think it does.

That's not to say that this index is the last word on the topic. But I do think it should give pause to anyone who reflexively declares the U.S. has more opportunity than other G20 countries. 

And that's not even getting into the measures of well-being that you're completely ignoring like life expectancy, homicide rate, accident rate, maternal health, infant mortality, overdose rate.  None of those suggest that the U.S. doesn't have a lot of work to do if we want to maximize health and well-being for our people


Smedley said:

drummerboy said:

Also, it's not so much that the Pew report is wrong. It's more like "so what"? What exactly is his point?

But I do think that ignoring some pretty drastic costs of living differences makes much of his argument moot. 

Except the report states: "They are also converted to purchasing power parity dollars, which adjusts for cost-of-living differences across countries."

You're really off your game today. 

Yeah, using PPP is part of his problem. Hardly a perfect measure.


PVW said:

Smedley said:

I don't see how GDP Per Capita is not an indicator of opportunity. Yes it's an imperfect measure, it's a mean rather than a median, it doesn't take into account inequality and a number of things, etc. But ultimately, it indicates how much money there is to go around, and more to go around = more opportunity. It's math. 

Relatedly, this report that shows many European middle class people would be lower class by U.S. standards. Which correspondingly means many people in the U.S. lower class would be the equivalent of middle class in Europe. The conclusion: "Overall, regardless of how middle class fortunes are analyzed, the material standard of living in the U.S. is estimated to be better than in most Western European countries examined. But to the extent that governments in Western Europe are more likely to provide services to households that may not be captured in household income, such as the National Health Service in the UK, it is possible that differences in the quality of life between the U.S. and Western Europe are narrower."

Is Europe really as economically mobile as it seems if rising to the middle class there could well be the equivalent of lower class here? 

And ultimately, yes it's my opinion that the US system is better than the European social model. It is your opinion that the European social model is better. If it is your opinion that your opinion is a fact, as seems to be the case, then it is my opinion that you have an overly inflated regard for your own opinion.   

Two thing jump out to me here.

1. You're argument is that US GDP is higher because US social spending is lower. That might be true, but it might not. As I've noted, there are other plausible explanations as well (eg higher immigration levels, with immigrants more easily absorbed). You're doing a bit of question-begging here by claiming a clear connection between GDP and social spending. In fact that relationship is unclear and ambiguous.

2. Isn't the fact that you can have less income but still be middle class a point in favor of Europe and against the US? Aren't you in essence saying people who are poor here would be better off in Europe?

I'm not saying that it wouldn't necessarily also be true in 2022, but that Pew Article was written in 2017, based on 2010 economic data. Given all that's occurred in the years since, like economic recovery from the 2008 Great Recession and a global pandemic, it's possible there have been some changes.


There are multiple threads about Russia and Ukraine… it’s time people ignore you. It’s not all about you and your trolling abilities. 


Jaytee said:

There are multiple threads about Russia and Ukraine… it’s time people ignore you. It’s not all about you and your trolling abilities. 

If you could stop being bitter for a sec, and actually read the article, you will see it is not about me at all.

IMO,  ”multiple threads” on the same story can be daunting to follow.

The story is about the numbers of innocent Ukrainians, murdered and dumped into mass graves, all with the world watching.

This thread is about world affairs, our government, and politics. Covers a lot of territory! Sorry if it is difficult for you to follow.


Meanwhile, last Monday, 9/11, marked the 10th anniversary of this horrific attack…

https://thekenyatimes.com/news/10-years-after-benghazi-attack-us-struggles-to-calm-libya-chaos/


mtierney said:

The story is about the numbers of innocent Ukrainians, murdered and dumped into mass graves, all with the world watching.

This thread is about world affairs, our government, and politics. Covers a lot of territory! Sorry if it is difficult for you to follow.

Ms. Nan and Mr. Surovell will probably tell you that it's all fake, staged to make Russia look bad.


Smedley said:

1. You're oversimplifying my argument - I'm saying US GDP is higher largely because of the overall size and reach of government, which taxation and social services are functions of. As I posted previously I think this HBR piece pretty well captures why US GDP is higher. Points 4, 6, and 8-10 tie directly into my argument.

Immigration is a positive factor and it is point #5 in the HBR piece, but I can't see that as the primary explanation as to why US GDP is in the order of 50% higher than Europe over the long term, as per numbers I previously posted. That very significant and sustained gap must have systematic roots, in my view. 

2. The Pew report adjusts for Purchasing Power Parity so as I read it, the upshot is that the middle class in Europe is less well-off than middle class in U.S. in terms of their living standards. So I don't see how that would be a point of favor for Europe.  

"Taxation and social services" encompasses a lot of different things. I expect that for some of those things, I'd agree with you that the European approach is worse, but on others, I'd disagree.  The argument you're trying to make is, I think, too broad. There's a number of policy areas I'd like to see the US be more like Europe in -- are these the same policy areas that a) you believe account for the difference in GDP and b) do those specific areas actually account for that difference? It's not really possible to say so long as you keep your argument so broad.

I will be more specific and say that I think the US approach to health care is specifically one where I believe we take the wrong approach, and that I'm not convinced a more European model would mean lower GDP (acknowledging that there's a diversity of European models in health care).

I found the last sentence in the Pew report interesting:

"For example, they estimate that while per capita income in France is only 67% of the level in the U.S., the broader measure of welfare for France is 92% of the level of welfare in the U.S."

That makes the US seem like it's overpaying an under-delivering, doesn't it? In France, you get 92% of the way to the US standard of living even though you only get 62% of the per-capita income. What accounts for that remaining 8% difference, I wonder? It can't be health care, as that's far too large a portion of the US and French economy. Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?

If you're argument is simply "the US should not uncritically seek to emulate European approaches across the board," sure. no argument from me. But that's also not an especially interesting, useful, or relevant argument. Maybe you could try to point to specific policy proposals popular on the American political left you disagree with?


mtierney said:

Meanwhile, last Monday, 9/11, marked the 10th anniversary of this horrific attack…

https://thekenyatimes.com/news/10-years-after-benghazi-attack-us-struggles-to-calm-libya-chaos/

Yes it's a terrible thing when people die violently. 

But do you care that more people died as a result of January 6 than Benghazi?


ml1 said:

mtierney said:

Meanwhile, last Monday, 9/11, marked the 10th anniversary of this horrific attack…

https://thekenyatimes.com/news/10-years-after-benghazi-attack-us-struggles-to-calm-libya-chaos/

Yes it's a terrible thing when people die violently. 

I didn’t think about Benghazi on 9/11.  There were other losses I was reflecting on. 


nohero said:

I didn’t think about Benghazi on 9/11.  There were other losses I was reflecting on. 

Of course, as were we all.

Actually, I think I had somehow forgotten the fact that both events occurred on the same date in the same month! 

Any conspiracy theorists out there?


Another ignorant piece of garbage from Bill Maher. 

mtierney said:


PVW said:

I found the last sentence in the Pew report interesting:

"For example, they estimate that while per capita income in France is only 67% of the level in the U.S., the broader measure of welfare for France is 92% of the level of welfare in the U.S."

That makes the US seem like it's overpaying an under-delivering, doesn't it? In France, you get 92% of the way to the US standard of living even though you only get 62% of the per-capita income. What accounts for that remaining 8% difference, I wonder? It can't be health care, as that's far too large a portion of the US and French economy. Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?


That bit from Pew links to this report, which shows the US welfare number (100) is higher than the UK (96.6)  and France (91.8), among other countries, after adjusting for consumption, leisure, mortality, and inequality. The differentials are not large, granted -- however, the takeaway in my view is that it adjusts for the things that progressives would say make Europe better, but it finds that Europe (at least the UK and France) ain't better. 

To your question,

Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?

It's possible I guess. There's always room for improvement on stuff. But again this goes back to the no free lunch theorem and tradeoffs, which are at the heart of economics. Can't we do this...and that...and the other thing and have a higher GDP and welfare measure? At some point the answer is no, because things that appear to be free will always have some hidden or implicit cost to someone.  


here's a question to ponder. How many people stay in jobs only so they can keep health insurance for their families?

How do you put a metric on the degree to which many people are handcuffed to their jobs?


Smedley said:

PVW said:

I found the last sentence in the Pew report interesting:

"For example, they estimate that while per capita income in France is only 67% of the level in the U.S., the broader measure of welfare for France is 92% of the level of welfare in the U.S."

That makes the US seem like it's overpaying an under-delivering, doesn't it? In France, you get 92% of the way to the US standard of living even though you only get 62% of the per-capita income. What accounts for that remaining 8% difference, I wonder? It can't be health care, as that's far too large a portion of the US and French economy. Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?


That bit from Pew links to this report, which shows the US welfare number (100) is higher than the UK (96.6)  and France (91.8), among other countries, after adjusting for consumption, leisure, mortality, and inequality. The differentials are not large, granted -- however, the takeaway in my view is that it adjusts for the things that progressives would say make Europe better, but it finds that Europe (at least the UK and France) ain't better. 

To your question,

Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?

It's possible I guess. There's always room for improvement on stuff. But again this goes back to the no free lunch theorem and tradeoffs, which are at the heart of economics. Can't we do this...and that...and the other thing and have a higher GDP and welfare measure? At some point the answer is no, because things that appear to be free will always have some hidden or implicit cost to someone.  

can you find a second study that bolsters your point? (Not that this Pew study is itself a slam dunk).


mtierney said:

some time in the last few years Bill Maher turned into a "hey you kids, get off my lawn" old guy.


Smedley said:

PVW said:

I found the last sentence in the Pew report interesting:

"For example, they estimate that while per capita income in France is only 67% of the level in the U.S., the broader measure of welfare for France is 92% of the level of welfare in the U.S."

That makes the US seem like it's overpaying an under-delivering, doesn't it? In France, you get 92% of the way to the US standard of living even though you only get 62% of the per-capita income. What accounts for that remaining 8% difference, I wonder? It can't be health care, as that's far too large a portion of the US and French economy. Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?


That bit from Pew links to this report, which shows the US welfare number (100) is higher than the UK (96.6)  and France (91.8), among other countries, after adjusting for consumption, leisure, mortality, and inequality. The differentials are not large, granted -- however, the takeaway in my view is that it adjusts for the things that progressives would say make Europe better, but it finds that Europe (at least the UK and France) ain't better. 

To your question,

Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?

It's possible I guess. There's always room for improvement on stuff. But again this goes back to the no free lunch theorem and tradeoffs, which are at the heart of economics. Can't we do this...and that...and the other thing and have a higher GDP and welfare measure? At some point the answer is no, because things that appear to be free will always have some hidden or implicit cost to someone.  

am I correct in reading that none of the data from that study you linked to is more recent than 2008?


ml1 said:

Smedley said:

PVW said:

I found the last sentence in the Pew report interesting:

"For example, they estimate that while per capita income in France is only 67% of the level in the U.S., the broader measure of welfare for France is 92% of the level of welfare in the U.S."

That makes the US seem like it's overpaying an under-delivering, doesn't it? In France, you get 92% of the way to the US standard of living even though you only get 62% of the per-capita income. What accounts for that remaining 8% difference, I wonder? It can't be health care, as that's far too large a portion of the US and French economy. Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?


That bit from Pew links to this report, which shows the US welfare number (100) is higher than the UK (96.6)  and France (91.8), among other countries, after adjusting for consumption, leisure, mortality, and inequality. The differentials are not large, granted -- however, the takeaway in my view is that it adjusts for the things that progressives would say make Europe better, but it finds that Europe (at least the UK and France) ain't better. 

To your question,

Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?

It's possible I guess. There's always room for improvement on stuff. But again this goes back to the no free lunch theorem and tradeoffs, which are at the heart of economics. Can't we do this...and that...and the other thing and have a higher GDP and welfare measure? At some point the answer is no, because things that appear to be free will always have some hidden or implicit cost to someone.  

am I correct in reading that none of the data from that study you linked to is more recent than 2008?

Looks that way. There's also this paper that uses 2014 data. It's generally not as clear to me as the Jones Klenow study and it adds in environmental/sustainability factors. But it is more recent. 


Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Smedley said:

PVW said:

I found the last sentence in the Pew report interesting:

"For example, they estimate that while per capita income in France is only 67% of the level in the U.S., the broader measure of welfare for France is 92% of the level of welfare in the U.S."

That makes the US seem like it's overpaying an under-delivering, doesn't it? In France, you get 92% of the way to the US standard of living even though you only get 62% of the per-capita income. What accounts for that remaining 8% difference, I wonder? It can't be health care, as that's far too large a portion of the US and French economy. Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?


That bit from Pew links to this report, which shows the US welfare number (100) is higher than the UK (96.6)  and France (91.8), among other countries, after adjusting for consumption, leisure, mortality, and inequality. The differentials are not large, granted -- however, the takeaway in my view is that it adjusts for the things that progressives would say make Europe better, but it finds that Europe (at least the UK and France) ain't better. 

To your question,

Doesn't this suggest that a US that had a health system more like France's would end up with both a higher GDP than France plus be doing a lot better than a measly 8% better in "broader measure of welfare"?

It's possible I guess. There's always room for improvement on stuff. But again this goes back to the no free lunch theorem and tradeoffs, which are at the heart of economics. Can't we do this...and that...and the other thing and have a higher GDP and welfare measure? At some point the answer is no, because things that appear to be free will always have some hidden or implicit cost to someone.  

am I correct in reading that none of the data from that study you linked to is more recent than 2008?

Looks that way. There's also this paper that uses 2014 data. It's generally not as clear to me as the Jones Klenow study and it adds in environmental/sustainability factors. But it is more recent. 

it doesn't appear to support your opinion:

The results by income level are also similar to Jones and Klenow (2016). Among high
income countries, clustered at the top right of Chart 1, many have a higher index of welfare
relative to income (they are above the 45 degree line); that is, the welfare index puts them
close to or above the U.S. in welfare while their income level puts them substantially below
the U.S. The main reason is that they have higher life expectancy, more leisure and less
inequality, as the example from France presented by Jones and Klenow illustrates. Among
these factors, the most important is life expectancy, which contributes to a higher level of
welfare, because consumption is already high in these countries and additional years of life
consumption add a significant component to expected lifetime utility, as can be seen in
equation

I'll play dueling research reports. I don't think this sounds all that great, to be honest. Do you?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537121000348

"Many progressive American policy analysts point to Denmark as a model welfare state with low levels of income inequality and high levels of social mobility in income across generations. It has in place many social policies now advocated for adoption in the U.S.: free college tuition, universal access to high-quality health care, equality of per pupil expenditures across all neighborhoods, universal high-quality pre-K, and generous childcare and maternity leave policy. In addition, there are well funded social security, disability, and unemployment programs in Denmark. Inequality in disposable income is much lower than in the U.S.

Yet, despite generous social policies, family influence on many child outcomes in Denmark is comparable to that in the U.S. Common forces are at work in both countries that are not easily mitigated by welfare state policies. Denmark achieves lower income inequality and greater intergenerational income mobility primarily through its tax and transfer programs and not by building the skills of children across generations and promoting their human potential more effectively.1

Despite the generosity of the Danish welfare state and equality in access for all citizens, substantial inequality of child outcomes remains across social and economic classes.

Denmark is a laboratory for understanding the origins of inequality and social immobility. In the U.S., inequalities in the public services that are universally provided at a high level in Denmark are major topics in discussions about promoting social mobility. However, if equal Danish provision of services does not eliminate inequality in many important life outcomes, the origins of inequality and social immobility lie elsewhere. Consequently, an uncritical adoption of Danish policy initiatives may not be effective as a way to ensure equality of opportunity."


Smedley said:

I'll play dueling research reports. I don't think this sounds all that great, to be honest. Do you?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537121000348

"Many progressive American policy analysts point to Denmark as a model welfare state with low levels of income inequality and high levels of social mobility in income across generations. It has in place many social policies now advocated for adoption in the U.S.: free college tuition, universal access to high-quality health care, equality of per pupil expenditures across all neighborhoods, universal high-quality pre-K, and generous childcare and maternity leave policy. In addition, there are well funded social security, disability, and unemployment programs in Denmark. Inequality in disposable income is much lower than in the U.S.

Yet, despite generous social policies, family influence on many child outcomes in Denmark is comparable to that in the U.S. Common forces are at work in both countries that are not easily mitigated by welfare state policies. Denmark achieves lower income inequality and greater intergenerational income mobility primarily through its tax and transfer programs and not by building the skills of children across generations and promoting their human potential more effectively.1

Despite the generosity of the Danish welfare state and equality in access for all citizens, substantial inequality of child outcomes remains across social and economic classes.

Denmark is a laboratory for understanding the origins of inequality and social immobility. In the U.S., inequalities in the public services that are universally provided at a high level in Denmark are major topics in discussions about promoting social mobility. However, if equal Danish provision of services does not eliminate inequality in many important life outcomes, the origins of inequality and social immobility lie elsewhere. Consequently, an uncritical adoption of Danish policy initiatives may not be effective as a way to ensure equality of opportunity."

so in response to the reports that people like PVW and I have linked to that look at hundreds of countries, and in response to your link above that looks at a similar number of countries and appears to refute your own point, you come back with a comparison to only Denmark?


ml1 said:

Smedley said:

I'll play dueling research reports. I don't think this sounds all that great, to be honest. Do you?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537121000348

"Many progressive American policy analysts point to Denmark as a model welfare state with low levels of income inequality and high levels of social mobility in income across generations. It has in place many social policies now advocated for adoption in the U.S.: free college tuition, universal access to high-quality health care, equality of per pupil expenditures across all neighborhoods, universal high-quality pre-K, and generous childcare and maternity leave policy. In addition, there are well funded social security, disability, and unemployment programs in Denmark. Inequality in disposable income is much lower than in the U.S.

Yet, despite generous social policies, family influence on many child outcomes in Denmark is comparable to that in the U.S. Common forces are at work in both countries that are not easily mitigated by welfare state policies. Denmark achieves lower income inequality and greater intergenerational income mobility primarily through its tax and transfer programs and not by building the skills of children across generations and promoting their human potential more effectively.1

Despite the generosity of the Danish welfare state and equality in access for all citizens, substantial inequality of child outcomes remains across social and economic classes.

Denmark is a laboratory for understanding the origins of inequality and social immobility. In the U.S., inequalities in the public services that are universally provided at a high level in Denmark are major topics in discussions about promoting social mobility. However, if equal Danish provision of services does not eliminate inequality in many important life outcomes, the origins of inequality and social immobility lie elsewhere. Consequently, an uncritical adoption of Danish policy initiatives may not be effective as a way to ensure equality of opportunity."

so in response to the reports that people like PVW and I have linked to that look at hundreds of countries, and in response to your link above that looks at a similar number of countries and appears to refute your own point, you come back with a comparison to only Denmark?

Denmark was #1 on the list of the Global Social Mobility Index that you posted to support your argument. Numero uno. Should I disregard Denmark? If so, you should have specified that, though it would be kind of odd to toss the top name on your list.  

Also, the most recent report I cited states "Denmark is a laboratory for understanding the origins of inequality and social immobility."  Which to me suggests that other countries with similar policies, familial and social structures, etc would very likely share inequality and social mobility patterns.  Don't you think that Norway, Sweden and Finland (at least) would share many of the same inequality and social mobility limitations as highlighted by the Labour Economics report? Or do you think it's wholly unique to Denmark.


Smedley said:

ml1 said:

Smedley said:

I'll play dueling research reports. I don't think this sounds all that great, to be honest. Do you?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537121000348

"Many progressive American policy analysts point to Denmark as a model welfare state with low levels of income inequality and high levels of social mobility in income across generations. It has in place many social policies now advocated for adoption in the U.S.: free college tuition, universal access to high-quality health care, equality of per pupil expenditures across all neighborhoods, universal high-quality pre-K, and generous childcare and maternity leave policy. In addition, there are well funded social security, disability, and unemployment programs in Denmark. Inequality in disposable income is much lower than in the U.S.

Yet, despite generous social policies, family influence on many child outcomes in Denmark is comparable to that in the U.S. Common forces are at work in both countries that are not easily mitigated by welfare state policies. Denmark achieves lower income inequality and greater intergenerational income mobility primarily through its tax and transfer programs and not by building the skills of children across generations and promoting their human potential more effectively.1

Despite the generosity of the Danish welfare state and equality in access for all citizens, substantial inequality of child outcomes remains across social and economic classes.

Denmark is a laboratory for understanding the origins of inequality and social immobility. In the U.S., inequalities in the public services that are universally provided at a high level in Denmark are major topics in discussions about promoting social mobility. However, if equal Danish provision of services does not eliminate inequality in many important life outcomes, the origins of inequality and social immobility lie elsewhere. Consequently, an uncritical adoption of Danish policy initiatives may not be effective as a way to ensure equality of opportunity."

so in response to the reports that people like PVW and I have linked to that look at hundreds of countries, and in response to your link above that looks at a similar number of countries and appears to refute your own point, you come back with a comparison to only Denmark?

Denmark was #1 on the list of the Global Social Mobility Index that you posted to support your argument. Numero uno. Should I disregard Denmark? If so, you should have specified that, though it would be kind of odd to toss the top name on your list.  

Also, the most recent report I cited states "Denmark is a laboratory for understanding the origins of inequality and social immobility."  Which to me suggests that other countries with similar policies, familial and social structures, etc would very likely share inequality and social mobility patterns.  Don't you think that Norway, Sweden and Finland (at least) would share many of the same inequality and social mobility limitations as highlighted by the Labour Economics report? Or do you think it's wholly unique to Denmark.

it looks only at social mobility. That's only one measure of the well-being of a country.  And I only posted that because you dragged the discussion into wealth and opportunity to make money as THE measure of well-being, even though many of us have tried to point out that well-being is not a synonym for money or the opportunity to make money.

Denmark is also consistently one of the happiest countries on earth. Can you put a $$$ value on that?  Or my earlier question:

ml1 said:

here's a question to ponder. How many people stay in jobs only so they can keep health insurance for their families?

How do you put a metric on the degree to which many people are handcuffed to their jobs?

you are arguing that having more money is the key measure of well-being. So I'll just stipulate to your point. Yeah, on average Americans have more money than people in almost every other country.

But we die earlier. We're more likely to die from homicide, suicide, overdose, or accident. We're generally less healthy.  Significant proportions of us can't afford health care or higher education. And we work A LOT more hours.

So we'll probably not even agree on what are important metrics of well-being. 


Will the First Amendment survive social media’s “crowd sourcing?”

https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/twitter-and-facebook-and-youtube

The president said the pandemic is over on 60 Minutes. Good to know.


mtierney said:

Will the First Amendment survive social media’s “crowd sourcing?”

https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/twitter-and-facebook-and-youtube

Two thoughts:

1. The author was prevented from spreading dangerous misinformation about dealing with Covido19.  That's the "free speech" that he claims the right to spread.  Private companies told him, "No, you can't use us to spread your false and dangerous 'advice'."

2. The opinion he's discussing is one he probably hasn't read through, or read criticism of.  It's not a good legal view to say that the state can tell a private company what it has to allow on its premises.


A person who supports Trump's deadly attempt to overturn the election, and ongoing GOP efforts to steal future elections, has no business talking about free speech and censorship.


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