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Very good summary. Thanks Martin. A couple of additional comments:

0.3% less population growth: Does it really matter to live in the overall bigger economy? Are the Chinese better off than the people of Norway, because China has a bigger economy or would you prefer to live in 4 million people Norway?

Not that your average USian would know Norway from Albania anyway. Heck, many of them probably believe they're as poor as the Inuits...
(To be fair, how many Europeans would know Nebraska from Minnesota?)

Moreover Sarko has promised to use a capital gains tax increase to finance a negative income tax for the poor

Very true, but there's catch: thanks to last year's "fiscal ceiling" the wealthiest taxpayers won't pay an additional cent; the full burden of it will be carried in its entirety by the middle class (That's Sarko's social justice to you).

Affordable health care for everybody, financed by the taxpayers solidarity if necessary.

This is definitely one thing the right-wing governments in EU have been consistently undermining: more co-pay and more and more reliance on private insurer schemes, all in the name of --you guessed it-- reducing the taxes ...
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 04:00:48 PM EST

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