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By this I mean not just the raw data (per capita income, etc.) but, things like availability of health care, child care, retirement security and employment career prospects.
The data for not only the median but how those at the bottom fare compared to the average would also be interesting.
It's my guess that the poorest off in places like France are, on average, better off than the poorest in the US and that the imbalance between the rich and the rest of us is less pronounced.
I also think this may have implications for the challenges of global competitiveness and social stability.
Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
I've got to go fix an outlet in my kitchen. With luck I'll survive the experience and will be able to continue this productive discussion! :-)
Do you agree that the best measure of poverty is the number of cell phones, cars, or dishwashers that you own?
Do you also agree with the "less tax is always better" promoted by that think tank?
In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
But your question about number of cell phones is exactly what makes comparison of different economies so difficult. As I see it, there should be a three step process.
1.) Define some kind of metric based on things that you can measure: GDP, life expectancy, number of cell phones, number of vacation days per year, or whatever.
2.) Decide whether that metric is measuring something desireable or undesireable.
3.) Adjust whatever economic controls you have available to attempt to either increase or decrease the metric.
So if you think that the so-called "unemployment rate" metric is an indicator of something that is "bad," then you would work to make it lower. If you think that the per capita GDP is "good," then you would work to make it higher.
To make this work, the very first thing that must be accomplished is the definition of metrics that measure things we are interested in. The current debates are about things like "unemployment rate" (argued against by Krugman in one instance because of discouraged workers), "per capita GDP" (which measures things like cell phones), and "health care ranking" (which takes into account how much is spent--as a negative--but fails to account for massive failures of the system). And then when those metrics are defined, they must be measured over carefully chosen time periods that do not put undue emphasis on things like local recessions.
What are those fair metrics?
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