Friday, April 03, 2009


U.S. unemployment is now at 8.5 percent, which to some people is a damning indictment of free market capitalism and signals the need to shift towards a European style approach. But let's go back a few years to 2005 when the world economy was doing much better and take a look at European unemployment rates:
Germany: 12.6 percent
France: 10.2 percent
Spain: 10.4 percent
Italy: 8.6 percent
UK: 4.7 percent*
USA: 5.1 percent
In other words, the U.S. in the worst of times still has lower unemployment than many European economies in much better times. Despite this fact the people that currently run the country want to use Europe as a model for reorganizing the economy.

*It should be noted that the the flavor of capitalism practiced in the UK is closer to the US model than the rest of Europe, which is why you sometimes hear references made to Anglo-Saxon capitalism.

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