Big Welfare States Are Not To Blame For European Crisis

In his blog earlier today, Paul Krugman again pointed out that the Euro Crisis (yeah, I’m capitalizing the C) is used by the right as a cautionary tale about the danger of social welfare states.  The Euro Crisis, like any other major economic event, is like an Rorschach inkblot.  No matter what it actually is, one’s conclusions about it have more to do with one’s inherent biases than the actual information in front of you.

Krugman used an older chart that put Sweden on top of the social spending heirarchy, the one on the left, I found on the OECD’s Social Explorer and it shows that France and Belgium have overtaken Sweden’s social spending.  That’s beside the point.  This chart shows OECD countries ranked by social spending as percentage of GDP in 2007, and the breakdown between public and private spending.

Clearly, the countries that spend more on the welfare of its citizens and do so with taxpayer dollars are not the same ones whose approach to fiscal policy closely resembles a piñata party.  France, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and Germany aren’t the culprits here. In fact, by most measures, they are better off than the US.

I would have a better chance of being employed if I was Danish.  And I would much rather be unemployed in a country that will still allow me to live with dignity until I do find a job.

Comments are closed.