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Europe versus America (PDF) is a report by a Swedish public policy institute comparing the two economies, concluding that "If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states." The WSJ has read the report, and highlights that "Most Americans have a standard of living which the majority of Europeans will never come anywhere near [...]. in the U.S. a large 45.9% of the 'poor' own their homes, 72.8% have a car and almost 77% have air conditioning, which remains a luxury in most of Western Europe. The average living space for poor American households is 1,200 square feet. In Europe, the average space for all households, not just the poor, is 1,000 square feet.". With a looming demographic crisis in Europe to boot, will the EU be able to implement much-needed reforms to save their welfare-state system before it is too late?
posted by dagny on Jun 20, 2004 - 118 comments

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