Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Some commentary on that graph of below-60%-of-median poverty in Europe.

  • I said it before, I say it again: despite the antics of the insufferable Václav Klaus, the Czech Republic has been rather modest in terms of 'reforms' until recently. (Klaus himself didn't do much more in his time as PM than the ill-fated coupon privatisation.) So it being both co-best in after-social-transfers poverty, and being one with a broader social support, is less of a surprise to me.

  • On the other hand, all of the Nordic countries are surprisingly uneven pre-social-transfers. What could this mean?

  • Note Slovenia [Slowenien]. Just recently, I was reminded that it is the perfect counter-example to flat tax arguments: it has a very high growth like the the flat tax countries from Slovakia to Lithuania, yet it has much higher wage levels - and a progressive tax peaking above 40%.

  • You see that despite high poverty rates, running against the stereotype, the social state is not at all dead there. Meanwhile, the Mediterraneans - Spain, Italy, and above all Greece - seem to have very ineffective social states. (Either that, or they have lots of social benefits given in nature for free rather than in the form of money transfers.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 20th, 2008 at 06:05:20 AM EST
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