Prospect Magazine has an interesting article – “Europe is Strong”:http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/ArticleView.asp?accessible=yes&P_Article=12246 by “Philippe ‘globalization is good’ Legrain”:http://www.philippelegrain.com/ on why you shouldn’t necessarily believe what you may have read about America being the economic powerhouse and Europe being a basket case. Turns out that once you factor in that Europe’s population is not growing while America’s is and Europeans work fewer hours, much of Europe is more productive than the US, hour for hour. I also didn’t realise that cross-border investment within the eurozone quadrupled in the first two years of the Euro.
Thanks to “Crookedtimber”:http://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/000586.html for the link
… Then as I was about to post this up, “Arts & Letters Daily”:http://www.aldaily.com/ led me to a columnist in The Daily Standard who argues the more traditional “neocon anti-Europe case”:http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/123ezraq.asp. Neither article alas gives the key detail that would definitely enable me to decide one way or another – what’s the average European produce in an hour, how fast is that rising and how does that compare to the same measure in the US?
I find it interesting that “Irwin M. Stelzer”:http://www.namebase.org/xste/Irwin-M-Stelzer.html (the columnist) argues (correctly) that Europeans may find it difficult to trade less leisure for more income without acknowledging that Americans probably find the reverse even harder to do. I would also like to see the evidence that, “millions of Italians, Irish, Germans, and other Europeans have voted with their feet in favor of America’s balance between work and leisure, with no discernible flow in the opposite direction.” But maybe that’s because I am one of those shirkers who moved from Canada to Britain at least in part because of the work/life balance issue.