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If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states. France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany have lower GDP per capita than all but four of the states in the United States. In fact, GDP per capita is lower in the vast majority of the EU-countries (EU 15) than in most of the individual American states. This puts Europeans at a level of prosperity on par with states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia. Only the miniscule country of Luxembourg has higher per capita GDP than the average state in the USA. The results of the new study represent a grave critique of European economic policy.
Stark differences become apparent when comparing official economic statistics. Europe lags behind the USA when comparing GDP per capita and GDP growth rates. The current economic debate among EU leaders lacks an understanding of the gravity of the situation in many European countries. Structural reforms of the European economy as well as far reaching welfare reforms are well overdue. The Lisbon process lacks true impetus, nor is it sufficient to improve the economic prospects of the EU.
Originally posted by ElTiante
If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states. France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany have lower GDP per capita than all but four of the states in the United States.
The major disadvantage of using GDP as an indicator of standard of living is that it is not, strictly speaking, a measure of standard of living. GDP is intended to be a measure of particular types of economic activity within a country. Nothing about the definition of GDP suggests that it is necessarily a measure of standard of living.
- Quality of life is determined by many other things than physical goods (economic or not).
- In 'poor' countries, it may just be that everything is cheap, except for a few western goods. So one may have little money, but if everything is cheap that evens out nicely. Thus, the standard of living may be quite reasonable, it's just that there are, say, fewer TV-sets, meaning people have to share them.
- If a nation doesn't spend but saves and invests overseas, such as Japan, its GDP will be diminished in comparison to one that spends borrowed money, like the US, thus accumulated savings and debt are not taken into account so long as adequate financing continues to happen.