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  1. #41
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpankyMcFly View Post
    France, Portugal, Italy. In that order. This is subject to change based on new information. If this were a real decision I'd certainly do some research first. Economic opportunity is not the only factor I'd consider. Education for my daughters, upward mobility, crime rates, cost of living etc. to name most, although I'm positive this list would grow, in time.

    Are any of these countries below 60 on the Index of Economy Freedom?
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Are any of these countries below 60 on the Index of Economy Freedom?
    Italy is 60, and this is an increase form last year. It is not far off being "mostly unfree".

    Chile alternatively is ranked 7th in the world.


    I can assure you that the middle and working classes in Italy have an incomparably higher standard of living than those in Chile.

  3. #43
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Il Morto Che Parla View Post
    Italy is 60, and this is an increase form last year. It is not far off being "mostly unfree".

    Chile alternatively is ranked 7th in the world.


    I can assure you that the middle and working classes in Italy have an incomparably higher standard of living than those in Chile.
    That's true, but it only goes to show that Italy is one of the many Moderately Free countries with high standards of living. On the other hand, you'll be hard-pressed to find countries with scores below 60 where the middle class enjoy comparable standards of living to that of Italians. A country does not need to be considered a free-market economy with a score above 80 to have high standards of living, but these statistics seem to suggest that it is difficult for a country with a score below 60 to provide adequate economic opportunities for its citizenry.

    On another note regarding Chile, the inadequacy of the living standards of its middle class is owed not to the fact that it is one of the freest economies in the world, but to the fact that its economy is underdeveloped. In the 1920s, it was unheard for for a middle class family to rent or buy a two story home and the same holds true for the contemporaneous living conditions of residents of other Western European nations.

    Chile is already taking a turn for the better, the center-left Concertacion party won the recent election by a landslide and vowed to address the problem of wealth inequality. By 2020, Chile will be considered a developed nation and it will be poised to follow the path that today's developed countries have already taken. By 2050, there should be no significant gaps in the living standards of the middle class Italians and Chileans.


    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    UAE is high on the list in part precisely because employers there can essentially do whatever they want with immigrant workers, no matter how exploitative. That is essentially what the index means by "labor freedom".

    Labor freedom is just one part of economic freedom, and UAE only received a score of 82.9 on Labor Freedom. Other factors such as the score of 99.6 on Fiscal Freedom and 82.5 on Trade Freedom enables UAE to reach an average score of 71.4.

    While the freedom to exploit workers can boost a country's score on labor freedom, other factors also play a role in determining its score in that category such as rigidity of hours, mandatory severance pay and minimum wage. Because of that, countries that are notorious for exploiting workers such as China and Indonesia score much lower on labor freedom than do Canada, the United States, Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia, countries where exploitation is less common and less severe.

    So, evidence does not warrant the claim that labor freedom is to be equated with the freedom to exploit workers, if that was the case, China would have been ranked number one on labor freedom.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    That's true, but it only goes to show that Italy is one of the many Moderately Free countries with high standards of living. On the other hand, you'll be hard-pressed to find countries with scores below 60 where the middle class enjoy comparable standards of living to that of Italians. A country does not need to be considered a free-market economy with a score above 80 to have high standards of living, but these statistics seem to suggest that it is difficult for a country with a score below 60 to provide adequate economic opportunities for its citizenry.

    On another note regarding Chile, the inadequacy of the living standards of its middle class is owed not to the fact that it is one of the freest economies in the world, but to the fact that its economy is underdeveloped. In the 1920s, it was unheard for for a middle class family to rent or buy a two story home and the same holds true for the contemporaneous living conditions of residents of other Western European nations.

    Chile is already taking a turn for the better, the center-left Concertacion party won the recent election by a landslide and vowed to address the problem of wealth inequality. By 2020, Chile will be considered a developed nation and it will be poised to follow the path that today's developed countries have already taken. By 2050, there should be no significant gaps in the living standards of the middle class Italians and Chileans.
    Actually Concertación is an coallition (which includes the Socialist Party), not a party.

    I disagree with your forecast, based on extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence, which was not supplied.

  5. #45
    Senior Member ColonelGadaafi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Il Morto Che Parla View Post
    I wonder if @SolitaryWalker would like to live a month as a construction worker in the UAE.
    UAE is a racially stratified society, so he'd probably be treated well if he went with a western construction crew. Would be different if he went as a pakistani/indian/malayasian.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelGadaafi View Post
    UAE is a racially stratified society, so he'd probably be treated well if he went with a western construction crew. Would be different if he went as a pakistani/indian/malayasian.
    Yep that was my point.

    In many of those "unfree" countries the same thing applies.

  7. #47
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Il Morto Che Parla View Post
    Actually Concertación is an coallition (which includes the Socialist Party), not a party.
    I've always heard it described as a "coalition" and not a "party", but I didn't think there was an important difference between the two terms. What's the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Il Morto Che Parla View Post
    I disagree with your forecast, based on extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence, which was not supplied.
    The only evidence I have on my side is that most of today's developed countries were in the position where Chile is now and they all needed decades to substantially raise the living standards for the Middle Class. Since the resignation of General Pinochet, the center-left leaders from slowly bridged wealth disparities and expanded the middle class. For one, the poverty rate decreased from 30% to roughly 15%, so there definitely has been progress.
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  8. #48
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