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View Diary: Another study blows up the myth of upward mobility (51 comments)

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  •  European social democracy is best (1+ / 0-)
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    Darth Stateworker

    As I understand it, places like Germany mandate that the working class, not only the upper class, MUST be allowed to set wages along with the executives.

    This leads--surprise!--to fairer distribution of company profits, with top executives pulling down a "mere" 40 or 50 times what their employees make, rather than the several hundred times what their employees make that is somehow not enough for our executives.

    Not only does no one in northern Europe go bankrupt for health care, but they don't even have any people screaming that they wish people would once again go bankrupt for health care. (For fun, when a right-winger says "it's different in Germany and Scandinavia 'cause size and homogeneity," as their Americans for Prosperity script tells them to do, ask: "oh--um, so? What exact size and homo- or heterogeneity does a country need to have before it's too much or too little?" and watch them go silent. No script for that. Of course, first you have to wade through a few posts where they pretend that All European Countries Are Greece.) I could go on, but I already have.

    We will progress to a more cooperative world--we must--but until then, the northern European model is the best model. We should copy them, since they are doing better (note, finally, that the EU has had a larger GDP than the US's, for several of the last 10 years).

    •  Yeah, but that's mostly because they lost WW2 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geenius at Wrok, benamery21

      and their occupiers made them set up this system:

      As I understand it, places like Germany mandate that the working class, not only the upper class, MUST be allowed to set wages along with the executives.
      I suspect there's some good irony in there, someplace.
      •  There were no rich people left. (1+ / 0-)
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        Laconic Lib

        That had a lot to do with it. In countries like Italy, when the wealthy refused to give up land after the war, the peasants killed them.

      •  Hm... where did you hear that? (0+ / 0-)

        Not that it can't be true, but do you have a paper trail of any kind, or anything showing that we made them do that? I always thought that they simply did that of their own accord,
        1) because it makes sense, and avoids the sort of Either-You're-the-Five-Walmart-Billionaires-or-You're-Homeless problems America is facing, and
        2) because Europe has a greater history of social democracy than we do, even BEFORE the war--view Germany, again, having social programs in the Bismarck, post-Bismarck Wilhelmine, and Weimar eras.

        This is the first I've heard of such a claim. Again, it could well be true that we forced them to adopt it, but do you have evidence that I can read?

      •  More complicated than that. (0+ / 0-)

         Sweden and Switzerland didn't participate in the war and still developed successful social-democratic societies. In fact, their neutrality allowed them to avoid the destruction and bankruptcy of their neighbors and even profit from the war.  Some would denounce this.  I prefer to think it intelligent to avoid war if at all possible.
          Japanese society was completely made over by the US - a thoroughly designed and micro-managed transition into a modern and highly successful democracy carried out by teams of experts, including former Roosevelt New-Dealers.

    •  Size and homogeneity (0+ / 0-)

      Yes.  I always wondered about that claim.   Are they saying the US is socially backward because we're a big melting pot?  Or is that just an excuse?  Then there's the one about how there are too many unwed mothers in Scandinavia.  Did they invent single motherhood?  You know they breed like bunnies, those Swedes.

      When I think of the EU nations in economic trouble right now, I also think of their postwar history.  Spain was neutral, but fascist.  Smart and reactionary at the same time.  In Italy, the Allies helped the Mafia recover from the war.  It was one policy designed to thwart the Communists there.  The other was Gladio, a stay-behind operation in which right-wingers, not Mafiosi this time, were armed and trained by the CIA and other NATO agencies to create an insurgency force there in the event of a Commie takeover.  The program evolved in the '70s and '80s into a full-blown terrorist campaign aimed at sowing chaos that would drive the Italian middle-class into the arms of the mildly conservative Christian Democratic party.  Italy was the most intensely affected by Gladio, but the policy was followed in other parts of Europe as well.  Similar pro-fascist policies were enacted in Greece.  Partisans, mostly left-wing anarcho-socialists, had liberated much of the north of Greece from the Nazis.  They were running communities in the rural areas there according to socialist self-determining principles, so they had to be routed by the returning exile army, but not before it was purged of real or potential leftist elements.  The ensuing political development was turbulent, including right-wing military juntas.  

      •  It seems for all the world that the homogeneity (0+ / 0-)

        claim and size claim (which is ridiculous in Germany's case, because they have over 85 million people, which is, like... a lot?? And not so different from America's 330 million that it'd make ANY difference to a health care or any other government program?) is just something their Americans for Prosperity script-writers had to think up on the spur of the moment, and never bothered to elaborate on.

        Which is just as well, since, as you mention the Poor Four Plus Italy, they are among (in Greece and Italy's case) the ones with the LOWEST tax-to-GDP rates, and (for Spain and Ireland) the LOWEST social welfare spending. So they can't force the whole "Europe is over! Nothing to see here!" junk to make any kind of sense. Europe has GDP to match ours, along with better conditions for workers, less inequality, and greater social mobility if you're working class and hope to afford not to be homeless.

        That's interesting stuff about Italy and Greece, though!  Thanks!

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