In the January 10th New York Times, Paul Krugman extols Europe's economic success:
Even calmer conservatives have been issuing dire warnings that Obamacare will turn America into a European-style social democracy. And everyone knows that Europe has lost all its economic dynamism.I've addressed this misconception before, but surf to Political Calculation's nifty interactive chart from a year ago, and sort by per capita GDP (last column) [added 1/19: Political Calculation's interactive chart of 2008 per capita GDP comparisons]. Professor Mark Perry summarizes:
Strange to say, however, what everyone knows isn’t true. . .
The real lesson from Europe is actually the opposite of what conservatives claim: Europe is an economic success, and that success shows that social democracy works.
Actually, Europe’s economic success should be obvious even without statistics. . . In any case, the statistics confirm what the eyes see.
If France became a U.S. state it would rank #48 out of 51 by per capita GDP, just barely ahead of America's two poorest states -- West Virginia and Mississippi. Belgium, Finland, U.K. Germany and Spain would rank in the bottom 20% of U.S. states by per capita GDP, just barely ahead of Arkansas but below Kentucky. Although Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark are among Europe's wealthiest countries, as U.S. states they would be between 14.5% and 18% below the U.S. average.(via Greg Mankiw)