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  1. #131
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    The cynic in me would argue that the main purpose of having generous social welfare programs is to create more government jobs. Plus, we declared War on Poverty in the 1960s here in the United States, and the percentage of poor Americans has barely changed in the last 40 years, despite the numbers of Americans getting government assistance shot through the roof.
    5% of the people in the US own 95% of the wealth, perhaps that's why we don't have the highest quality of life compared to the countries that have wealth more spread out.

    And conservatives have had more power in the US over the past 40 years than the ones in nations with the high QOL and social welfare.

  2. #132
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    5% of the people in the US own 95% of the wealth, perhaps that's why we don't have the highest quality of life compared to the countries that have wealth more spread out.

    And conservatives have had more power in the US over the past 40 years than the ones in nations with the high QOL and social welfare.
    Both not true! LOL Wow, this is easy. The top 5% wealthiest in the country have 59% of the net worth in the United States, and 68% of the wealth. Your statistic is flat-out wrong.

    Also, you can't compare our so-called "conservatives" with those in other countries. Like I wrote before, the poverty rate in the United States has barely decreased since the beginning of the War on Poverty. We've seen both Democratic and Republican presidents and houses of Congress in power in that span. The biggest down period of that time actually coincided with Bill Clinton's signing the Republicans' Welfare Reform bill in 1996, and his second term in office, when people were starting to be taken off welfare. If a very generous welfare state would lead automatically to less poverty (as you seem to state), what happened? The increase in the size of the welfare state between 1950 and 1970 was substantial (especially by U.S. standards).
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  3. #133
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Whether you are looking at The Economist's or the UN's QOL rankings, the top countries on the list are dominated by nations with welfare states, of course there are exceptions. It's not a surprise, the main purpose of having generous social welfare programs is to raise people's quality of life.
    Social welfare programs do not raise the overall GDP of a nation. Those programs produce nothing of substance. They only serve to take resources from one group and distribute them to another. If anything, they serve to lower overall GDP by reducing the incentive to do something productive (the magnitude of this effect is debatable).

  4. #134
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Both not true! LOL Wow, this is easy. The top 5% wealthiest in the country have 59% of the net worth in the United States, and 68% of the wealth. Your statistic is flat-out wrong.

    Also, you can't compare our so-called "conservatives" with those in other countries. Like I wrote before, the poverty rate in the United States has barely decreased since the beginning of the War on Poverty. We've seen both Democratic and Republican presidents and houses of Congress in power in that span. The biggest down period of that time actually coincided with Bill Clinton's signing the Republicans' Welfare Reform bill in 1996, and his second term in office, when people were starting to be taken off welfare. If a very generous welfare state would lead automatically to less poverty (as you seem to state), what happened? The increase in the size of the welfare state between 1950 and 1970 was substantial (especially by U.S. standards).
    The top 5% own more than the other 95% of the population, I put it wrong. The point is we have more income inequality than northern europe.

    Because our government is considerably more conservative and to the Right of northern europe and has a much smaller and arguably mismanaged welfare state than northern europe.

    You can't really compare the welfare state in the US to northern europe, it doesn't work as well with raising QOL because it doesn't do as much.

  5. #135
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Both not true! LOL Wow, this is easy. The top 5% wealthiest in the country have 59% of the net worth in the United States, and 68% of the wealth. Your statistic is flat-out wrong.
    Still a disturbing figure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Social welfare programs do not raise the overall GDP of a nation. Those programs produce nothing of substance. They only serve to take resources from one group and distribute them to another. If anything, they serve to lower overall GDP by reducing the incentive to do something productive (the magnitude of this effect is debatable).
    You know what does increase GDP? Oil spills! Repairing collateral damage! There's all kinds of other funny stuff that can make the GDP go up. It's quite comical what does and doesn't have worth as represented by the GDP.

    I think you put too much emphasis on negative incentive, by the way. May be people would really have incentive in this country if they actually thought they had a shot at upward mobility.
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  6. #136
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Social welfare programs do not raise the overall GDP of a nation.
    Did I say they did? I was talking about the Economist and UN quality of life rankings, not GDP. GDP is only one factor when figuring out a nations quality of life.

  7. #137
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    The top 5% own more than the other 95% of the population, I put it wrong. The point is we have more income inequality than northern europe.
    Income inequality is not the same as wealth inequality. You're all over the place here.

    Because our government is considerably more conservative and to the Right of northern europe and has a much smaller and arguably mismanaged welfare state than northern europe.
    Our welfare state is actually much LARGER than any country's in Europe, but it is less generous by individual or family. What makes it "mismanaged?" That sounds like a baseless assertion.

    You can't really compare the welfare state in the US to northern europe, it doesn't work as well with raising QOL because it doesn't do as much.
    How? Why? You have to explain yourself here.
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  8. #138
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I think you put too much emphasis on negative incentive, by the way. May be people would really have incentive in this country if they actually thought they had a shot at upward mobility.
    Poor and middle-class Americans, on average have a greater belief in their upward mobility than do poor and middle-class Europeans. We are a very optimistic people in that regard.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  9. #139
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Income inequality is not the same as wealth inequality. You're all over the place here.



    Our welfare state is actually much LARGER than any country's in Europe, but it is less generous by individual or family. What makes it "mismanaged?" That sounds like a baseless assertion.



    How? Why? You have to explain yourself here.
    Income inequality, wealth inequality...the US has more of both than northern europe. You're splitting hairs here.

    It is larger, we are a larger country, population-wise the size of all of europe. Our welfare state provides less benefits (no universal health care, no free college, less worker and consumer rights...).

  10. #140
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Income inequality, wealth inequality...the US has more of both than northern europe. You're splitting hairs here.
    They're two different things. Take my parents, for instance. Together (both working full-time, in their 50s), they make what would put them in the government's definition of the upper-middle class. However, their net worth (including equity in their house, which has been twice mortgaged) is definitely middle-class. Their total liabilities are high when compared to their total assets. There is definitely an appreciable difference between wealth and income.


    It is larger, we are a larger country, population-wise the size of all of europe. Our welfare state provides less benefits (no universal health care, no free college, less worker and consumer rights...).
    The United States' population is far lower than that of all of Europe. Come on, that information is easily available. Europe has approximately 728 million people (including Russia's 140 million+). The United States is at 310 million. The whole of Europe (including Russia west of the Urals) is almost the exact same size as the whole of the United States. The EU in aggregate is a bigger economy than the United States'.

    Again, I have to ask: what exactly is mismanaged in our welfare state? I'd be very interested to see what you believe is the percentage of the federal budget spent on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment/welfare, as compared to everything else.
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