Tag Archives: standard of living

Here’s me, giving Santorum his due (well, David Frum actually).

I heard this the other night. It was otherworldly. But I heard it indeed. From Frum Forum today:

Rick Santorum is not exactly an odds-on favorite in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And perhaps that’s why it was Santorum who felt free to articulate an important truth in the GOP candidates’ debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.

“Believe it or not, studies have been done that show that in Western Europe, people at the lower parts of the income scale actually have a better mobility going up the ladder now than in America. “ . . .

The American dream is still alive. It’s just more likely to come true in Denmark than in the USA. In fact, the American dream is less likely to come true in the USA than in any other major economy except the United Kingdom’s.

The freezing of income mobility is distinct from, but probably related to, two other important trends in American life: The stagnation of middle-class incomes and the widening of the gap between rich and poor.

It’s mostly been ignored of course, because Romney touched Perry, which was very important news indeed.

The world’s first post-growth economy

POSTED BY ORHAN

Over at Make Wealth History there’s a post on Japan as the world’s first post-growth economy. In the eyes of economists, Japan is an economic disaster. GDP has been essentially flat since the early nineties. China’s economy outstripped Japan’s for the first time last year. “And yet”, says Jeremy:

“…the lights are still on, everything still works. Literacy is high, and crime is low. Life expectancy is better than almost anywhere on earth – 82 years to the US’ 78. The trains run to the second. Unemployment is only 5%, and levels of inequality are enviable. Real per capita income growth matches America’s at 0.7% over the past decade. It’s hardly a basket case. In fact, it is living proof that growth isn’t necessary to deliver a high standard of living.”

Even though some economists are horrified at the lack of growth, others are thinking twice. If the goal of a state is to nurture and sustain its people, Japan may not be doing so badly after all. And it may turn into a model for other countries that are hitting the wall in terms of economic growth.