Quick, Someone Tell Bernie Sanders

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churchill-heavenhell7

The socialist economy has become so strong, so vigorous that from the summits we have reached we can issue an open challenge of peaceful economic competition to the most powerful capitalist country—the United States of America.

Nikita Khrushchev, October 27, 1961-Concluding speech 22 Congress Communist Party of the Soviet Union

 

Future historians will have a field day explaining the popularity of socialism, perhaps especially in its democratic variants:

Since Sweden is held up as a sort of promised land by American socialists, let’s compare it first. We find that, if it were to join the US as a state, Sweden would be poorer than all but 12 states, with a median income of $27,167. 
 
Median residents in states like Colorado ($35,830), Massachusetts ($37,626), Virginia ($39,291), Washington ($36,343), and Utah ($36,036) have considerably higher incomes than Sweden.
 
With the exception of Luxembourg ($38,502), Norway ($35,528), and Switzerland ($35,083), all countries shown would fail to rank as high-income states were they to become part of the United States. In fact, most would fare worse than Mississippi, the poorest state.
 
For example, Mississippi has a higher median income ($23,017) than 18 countries measured here. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom all have median income levels below $23,000 and are thus below every single US state. Not surprisingly, the poorest OECD members (Chile, Mexico, and Turkey) have median incomes far below Mississippi.
 
Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, has a median income ($25,528) level below all but 9 US states. Finland ranks with Germany in this regard ($25,730), and France’s median income ($24,233) is lower than both Germany and Finland. Denmark fares better and has a median income ($27,304) below all but  13 US states. 
 
On the other hand, were Australia ($29,875), Austria ($28,735), and Canada (28,288) to join the US, they would be regarded as “middle-income states” with incomes similar to the US median of $30,616.
 
We Should Adjust for Purchasing-Power Differences Among States 
 
But, I’m really being too conservative with the US numbers here. I’m comparing OECD countries to US states based on a single nation-wide purchasing power number for the US. We’ve already accounted for cost of living at the national level (using PPP data), but the US is so much larger than all  other countries compared here, we really need to consider the regional cost of living in the United States. Were we to calculate real incomes based on the cost of living in each state, we’d find that real purchasing power is even higher in many of the lower-income states than we see above. 
***********************
Once purchasing power among the US states is taken into account, we find that Sweden’s median income ($27,167) is higher than only six states: Arkansas ($26,804), Louisiana ($25,643), Mississippi ($26,517), New Mexico ($26,762), New York ($26,152) and North Carolina ($26,819). 
 
We find something similar when we look at Germany, but in Germany’s case, every single US state shows a higher median income than Germany. Germany’s median income is $25,528. Things look even worse for the United Kingdom which has a median income of $21,033, compared to $26,517 in Mississippi. 
 
Meanwhile, Colorado ($35,059) has a median income nearly identical to Switzerland ($35,083), and ten states (Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Washington State) show higher median incomes than Switzerland. Luxembourg ($38,502), on the other hand, shows a median income higher than every state except New Hampshire ($39,034).
 
None of this analysis should really surprise us. According to the OECD’s own numbers (which take into account taxes and social benefits, the US has higher median disposable income than all but three OECD countries. Sweden ranks below the US in this regard, as does Finland and Denmark. 
 
The fact that the median level in the US is above most OECD countries thus makes it no surprise that most of these countries then rank below most US states. The US states that have income level above the median US level will, not surprisingly, outpace many OECD countries by a considerable margin. 
 

Go here to read the rest.  Socialism, the eternal belief that I could be rich if only that rotten rich guy didn’t have so much.  Envy masquerading as economics always works out badly.

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21 Comments

  1. But income is not the whole picture. What does it buy in Sweden versus the US? Their mortgage interest is 46% lower than in the US over a lifetime and that is huuuuge…to quote the Donald. Taxis are more in Sweden…potatoes and onions and oranges cost half. Their murder rate is .7 per 100,000 people….we are 4.7 per 100,000 nationwide and 32 in our ghettoes….4 per 100,000 in our prisons. It depends on category but mortgage interest for the middle class is huge and very distortive of simple income figures.

    http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=Sweden

  2. But income is not the whole picture. What does it buy in Sweden versus the US?

    Bill, did you even read a damn thing?

    From the section Donald QUOTED:
    Were we to calculate real incomes based on the cost of living in each state, we’d find that real purchasing power is even higher in many of the lower-income states than we see above.

    “What does it buy” is EXACTLY what it’s answering and addressing and calculating out to a median income.

  3. Swedes can vote in the right or the left. For decades that was the left but housing problems have led to recent victories for the right. Here is a concise history:

    For 6 of the 7 decades since the Great Depression, Swedish politics was dominated by the Swedish Social Democratic Party. It won between 40%-55% of the votes in all elections between 1930 and 1990.

    But a centre-right government led by the aristocrat Carl Bildt was elected in 1991-1994, after weak economic growth during the 1970s and 1980s tarnished the image of the social democrats.

    It was with a changed psychology and a commitment to budget cuts that the Swedish Social Democratic Party returned to power under Ingvar Carlsson (1994-1996) and then under Göran Persson (1996-2006).

    In September 2006 the economic pain inflicted by Perrson´s government caused the victory of right-wing Moderate Party. Its leader Fredrik Reinfeldt and the conservatives held power from 2006 to 2014.

    In October 2014, the Swedish Social Democratic Party under Stevan Löfven again returned to power in a coalition with the Green Party, albeit in a hung parliament, having won only 31% of the popular vote.
    ………….
    Right of center adjustments had to be made in the housing areas where rents are much lower than the US but controlled and thus demotivate home building.

  4. Nate,
    You trust the authors way more than I. They should be explicitly mentioning housing factors and medical which former are unavoidable large percents of all citizens…and latter medical impacts the elderly ( met this month an elderly black man who drove a bus for twenty years and is now broke and on medicaid due to cancer co pays ).

  5. You trust the authors way more than I.

    That doesn’t make any sense. What does “trust” have to do with anything when they flat out state their methods and showed their work?

    They should be explicitly mentioning housing factors and medical which former are unavoidable large percents of all citizens…and latter medical impacts the elderly ( met this month an elderly black man who drove a bus for twenty years and is now broke and on medicaid due to cancer co pays ).

    And had he been in sweden, there is a greater chance he would have died – and Sweden is the top in Europe while still behind the USA. (but let’s be fair, medical care is a lot cheaper for dead people) Why do you want more people to die, Bill? (see? that’s why you don’t bring out cheap rhetoric, because it’s easy to hang yourself by it)
    .
    With medicine as in all things: you get what you pay for.

  6. Ah yes, the “happiness reports” which always place Denmark so high, no matter how false it might be.
    .
    See, Bill, the benefit of money is that its objective, people can’t really lie about it.
    .
    Of course given that Sweden is also the least religious country in the West, maybe Jesus’ words should be updated to, “what does it profit a man to have all the socialism, health care, and happiness in the world, yet lose his soul?”

  7. Nate,
    Your link gives similar rates of survival for the US and Sweden five years after a diagnosis of cancer. It specifes the US: 63% women, 66% males then he omits to specify Sweden but says it’s above 60% for both males and females.

  8. Yeah, if you do a search, it’s around 63%.
    .
    So the question is: if your life is on the line, how much is it worth to you to increase your chance of surviving by 3%?
    .
    Well in america you get to decide. In sweden the choice is made for you. Good for them being happy in their slavery.

  9. Nate,
    In America, you get to decide if you live near the best doctors not if you are in the heartland. My wife had brain artery surgery at Columbia Presbyterian by a New York doctor who was on Sixty Minutes for his expertise in same. I had surgery by a N.J. top fifty doctor that turned out perfect. I’m hearing very different stories from rural P.A. through a relative. That’s why US figures can be distorted by the doctors who opt for the most expensive cities.

  10. So you believe that if we adopt universal care the USA is going to magically shrink to 1/16th it’s size? (or however much, sweden’s roughly about the size of kansas, nebraska & the dakotas put together)
    .
    Man, I knew socialists believed that they could alter the laws of economics by legislation but this is the first I’ve seen one claim they can alter physics!

  11. The post about Donald Trump and Mark Shea right after this one talks about how we have become downright nasty towards those against whom we disagree. I confess that with respect to supporters of Bernie Sanders I am exactly like that. I am a sinful man.
    .
    🙁

  12. No…I believe that neither the US nor the UK have found the golden answer. And in the US, it is partly a lawsuit problem as a hidden cost of treatment and a regulatory problem as to some not all medicines being astronomical in price. Necessities need regulation. Soda and potato chips don’t. Charge $100,000 a year for potato chips…but not for medicine. Chip companies need the excess to develop better potato chips through expensive research.

  13. No…I believe that neither the US nor the UK have found the golden answer.

    That would be… relevant if someone brought up the UK (and just increases my evidence that you’re not reading anything – or are just a crude response program in the process of failing its turning test).

    And in the US, it is partly a lawsuit problem as a hidden cost of treatment and a regulatory problem as to some not all medicines being astronomical in price.

    Yes, lawsuits are a problem, almost nobody disagrees with that, and it’s usually the right who brings up a reduction in medicine regulation.

    Charge $100,000 a year for potato chips…but not for medicine.

    What does this even mean? The USA as a whole spends over $7 billion a year for chips so we’re kind of beating out your 100k babble.
    .
    And, again, you’re missing the entire point: trade offs. How much is your life worth and how does one pick when resources is limited? Doesn’t matter how you feel, all the feelings in the world won’t produce one more doctor with skills or conjure an additional pill to help you.

  14. Nate,
    Adios. Print out our debate and show it to a monk and ask him which of us…you or I…needs snark therapy.

  15. I never said anything about anyone needing snark therapy. Mostly just demanded what planet you were coming from so some context could be figured out from your seemingly at random statements.

  16. My friend’s Russian born wife will inform you in no uncertain terms that there are no communists just socialists. One was a non-existent pretension. The other, a stark reality of Russian experience. Bernie is what he says he is, even though he may not realize what that is. Hillary is a variant of the same reality. And at the end, what does it matter if one is eaten by a lion or a tiger?

  17. I do financial reporting for a living. There is an old joke, with an element of truth to it, that an accountant can make one plus one be anything you want it to be.

    Socialism sucks. Cuba is the end result of socialism. Per Louis Kelso, the author of The Capitalist Manifesto, there are five types of capitalism. Communism is State Capitalism, whereby the State controls the means of production and manipulates the means of production to benefit those who control the means of production. Namely, the people who control the State.

    This reasoning is beyond the mental capacity of Bernie Sanders supporters. To put it charitably, they are economically as dumb as a box of dog poop. Sanders has done nothing but get elected. Sanders knows one thing. Promising to rob Peter to pay Paul means one can always count on the support of Paul. In the end, what does he care? He is 74. He will be dead when the bills come due and it won’t be his problem.

  18. I love comparing the melting pot of the United States with a homogeneous country like Sweden. There is no comparison. Sweden is failing spectacularly at integrating muslims. It is now the rape capitol of Europe. Wait a generation or two and see whether the new arrivals are still on welfare. So, to achieve the economic success we have here with a country that is constantly taking in migrants(an estimate I read recently put the number at 65 million) is actually astounding. Sweden wouldn’t come close to our results, as it is currently proving.

  19. From an antii-Clinton article in Salon:

    “On core labor issues like global trade and a living wage, he is steadfast while she is anything but. Still, unions representing 70percent of all members backed her, often without members’ consent.”

    O the irony! It Berns.

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