Silvio Berlusconi, is he the worst head of state? - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-04-2003, 01:24 PM   #31
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Well the UN development Index as of 2002 which estimates standard of living around the world has the USA at #6. Only Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Australia, and Canada have a better Standard of living than the USA. I know that does fit with the democrats plan to cast the USA as a shithole because of Bush's policies, but those are the facts.
First off, to merely settle for sixth best is not good enough. I know the GOP settles for crap to line their own pockets with tax cuts, but I guess we have differing ideals.

It's amusing that Americans make fun of Canadians, though, considering they live better than us. After all, the UN said so.

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Old 07-04-2003, 01:33 PM   #32
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Hey, I'm only expressing my good friends disgust with the administration prior to Burlusconi. Try telling her that her opinion is meaningless.
I would not dare to. He or she is Italian, and has every right to be pissed at the policies of his/ her country.

After all, I am a civilized European, not concentrating on cleaning up the mess because I know the best solution (for myself), but focussing on democratically bitching about it
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Old 07-04-2003, 01:35 PM   #33
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I love my fellow Europeans.
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Old 07-04-2003, 03:12 PM   #34
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Melon,

It's amusing that Americans make fun of Canadians, though, considering they live better than us. To a certain extent it is. But lets not forget that Canadians spend on a per capita basis less than 1/2 of what the USA spends on defense spending. Without the USA, Canada would be unable to properly defend itself. As it is, the USA takes care of that and picks up Canada's slack when it comes to NATO's responsibilities and other international security problems. Other than that, the Canadians have every thing right! Far less domestic gun violence and twice as many U2 fans per capita. Go Canada!
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Old 07-04-2003, 03:54 PM   #35
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Melon,

It's amusing that Americans make fun of Canadians, though, considering they live better than us. To a certain extent it is. But lets not forget that Canadians spend on a per capita basis less than 1/2 of what the USA spends on defense spending. Without the USA, Canada would be unable to properly defend itself. As it is, the USA takes care of that and picks up Canada's slack when it comes to NATO's responsibilities and other international security problems. Other than that, the Canadians have every thing right! Far less domestic gun violence and twice as many U2 fans per capita. Go Canada!
I enjoy your (il)logic trail. Now what does this have to do with quality-of-life?

Sure, we spend money on defense spending, but let's not forget the trillions of dollars worth of tax cuts that Bush made, while throwing hundreds of billions into defense spending and security spending. All the while, states have less money to work with, and, while patting Dubya on the back like good Republican governors do, behind-the-scenes, they revile him for not sending enough money their way.

If we taxed at the same levels that Canada endures, we'd have more than enough money to do damn near everything we ever wanted and more. As it stands, what's wrong with this nation is that our tax base is completely out-of-whack. The people who can afford to pay taxes (wealthy individuals, corporations) pay little in proportion to everyone else. Sure, a multimillionaire might bitch about $40 million in income taxes one year, but when he has a few hundred more to spare, what's his complaint? I certainly couldn't justify one.

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Old 07-04-2003, 06:01 PM   #36
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Melon,

"I enjoy your (il)logic trail. Now what does this have to do with quality-of-life?" Well if you took time to think about it, you'd realize that money spent in one place is money not spent somewhere else. This does effect quality of life. Its clear that Canada's perpetual defense spending holiday gives them more funds for things that effect the economic well being of the country. With the USA taking care of defense and security issues for them, they are able to direct resources into other area's.

Actually I have discovered that the Canadians tax rate based on yearly GDP vs. Federal budget is smaller than the USA. Currently, the Canadian Federal budget is about 12.5% of Canadian GDP. In the USA, the current Federal budget is just under 20% of GDP. Per capita tax level(federal budget divided by population) in Canada in US dollars is $3,148. In the USA the per Capita Tax level is $7,084.

One should note though that the USA has far more big businesses and corporations than Canada, and these companies generate a mass amount of money, a good percentage of which goes to the federal government, swelling the government budget.

So, what this does mean is that Canada is doing very well with a smaller federal budget per captita than the USA. Then again, Canada does not face many of the issues that the USA does. I'm not sure what the average tax rate for working Canadians is vs. the US tax rate, but just on a general per capita basis, the US government is taking in twice as much as the Canadian government.

As far as Bush Tax cuts, they are needed in order to get the economy moving. I do agree with the democrats though that the tax cuts should be focused on those making less than 100,000 per year since they are more likely to spend the money.

What really generates revenue for the government is when the economy is growing. A tax increase would actually not increase money coming into the government, because its negative effect on economic growth would offset any level of money gained from simply the increase of taxes. When Business and corporations are making lots of money and expanding, the government is getting a hefty cut of the profits. But what the government takes in from the economy falls as economic perfomance declines. Now is not the time for non-expansionary economic policy. A strong tax cut targeted and low and middle income earners, is needed.
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Old 07-04-2003, 06:48 PM   #37
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I do agree with the democrats though that the tax cuts should be focused on those making less than 100,000 per year since they are more likely to spend the money.

A strong tax cut targeted and low and middle income earners, is needed.
While I agree with this in principle, I feel that it may not be enough anymore. What needs to go back in place is incentives to pay labor more. All the tax cuts in the world will not make an amount of difference if labor is not paid adequately to begin with.

Cost of living increases have continued to rise, while blue-collar wages, when adjusted for inflation, have gone down. While there may be a debate whether or not they actually "deserve" their wages (i.e., "uneducated") that justify busting their unions and slashing their wages (like the 1980s), these are the Americans whose spending habits determine whether or not this economy will grow. Now that the credit cards and home equity loans have run out, unless we can raise wages, nothing will change our economic stagnancy.

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Old 07-04-2003, 07:24 PM   #38
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If employers are forced to give more money to employes, they are not going to higher as many which will increase unemployment depending on the rate.

3 years ago, the USA unemployment rate was 4% and there was wage pressure upward everywhere. Anyone who by chance found themselves unemployed could simply pick which employer was willing to offer the most money for work. Some Employers had plans to bring European Students over during the summer to work in the USA because there was such a large labor shortage then.

The economy will improve eventually, reducing unemployment and there by causing average wages to start to rise as labor becomes scarce.

Todays minimum wage of around 6 dollars I think, is a 1.50 less than it was in 1968 when the minimum wage was $7.50( $2.00 in 1968 money), adjusting for inflation.
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Old 07-09-2003, 07:02 AM   #39
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STING2:

we've discussed these statistics before. So just one quick reminder: you can't compare "official statistics from all countries as long as they are not based on the same facts" (for example several countries throw long term unemployed out of their statistics completely)

As i mentioned before, it might be true that the unemployment is better than before, but that dosn't make a criminal a good head of a state. He can become president again after he got the punishment for the criminal things he has done.

Since your friend studies the italian law i'd be curious what he/she thinks about mr. berlusconis law changes.

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Old 07-09-2003, 04:23 PM   #40
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Klaus,

"we've discussed these statistics before. So just one quick reminder: you can't compare "official statistics from all countries as long as they are not based on the same facts" (for example several countries throw long term unemployed out of their statistics completely)"

Thats incorrect to a certain degree. The Economist posts these statistics because they are comparable.

"As i mentioned before, it might be true that the unemployment is better than before, but that dosn't make a criminal a good head of a state. He can become president again after he got the punishment for the criminal things he has done."

The Italian people took a good look at that and made their decision and elected him.
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Old 07-09-2003, 04:36 PM   #41
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Klaus,

Here are longterm unemployment rates that I found from the latest Human Development Report 2003, which just came out yesterday. I do not know if statistics printed in the economist include these rates or not. Nor do I know if the rate in Italy for longterm unemployment has gone down or up since Berulusconi has been president. As You can see, US longterm Unemployment is only .3% one of the lowest in the world, and even if it is not included in US unemployment statistics, it is not significant enough to change ones thoughts on US unemployment VS any other country.

Slovakia 9.3
Poland 8.0
Italy 6.1
Greece 5.5
Spain 4.6

Czech Republic 4.3
Germany 4.2
France 3.3
Ireland 3.2
Belgium 3.2

Hungary 2.7
Turkey 2.5
Finland 2.4
Portugal 1.6
Netherlands 1.6

Australia 1.4
Japan 1.4
United Kingdom 1.3
Sweden 1.1
Austria 0.9

Denmark 0.9
New Zealand 0.9
Switzerland 0.7
Canada 0.7
Luxembourg 0.5

United States 0.3
Iceland 0.3
Norway 0.2
Korea, Rep. of 0.1
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Old 07-09-2003, 05:24 PM   #42
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STING2: well i've had a 2 hour discussion with a statistics professor here, and - after that i agreed that it's highly dangerous to compare them

But my main thing about Berlusconi is:
No matter if he droped the uneployment rate (Even Adolf Hitler had a great success doing that). If the leader of the country is a criminal he's not a good leader.

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Old 07-09-2003, 06:11 PM   #43
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Klaus,

The members who do the research for the Human Development Report take into account and know a lot about statistics. Unless you and your statistics proffesor believe its impossible to produce comparable statistics, then I think you should take note of what the Economist and the UN Human Development report say.

The main problem you had was with Unemployment statistics and long term unemployment statistics. I think the above chart is very informative. The USA has very little longterm unemployment.
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:13 PM   #44
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"If the leader of the country is a criminal he's not a good leader."

If he is, put him in Jail, if not, let him continue to perform his role as the elected leader of Italy.
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:19 PM   #45
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STING2:

you're absolutely right!

The problem is that he has the power to change the law and he abuses it to make former criminal things legal.

remember from page 1:

Quote:
For example: you don't get any fine in Italy now if you fake your balance sheets unless you fake them more than 5% of the business volume.
He made another law so that it's easier for the defendand to go to another court.
So a) he can go to a judge he likes and b) he can change the courtrooms for so many times that the things he did are too long ago to be punished.
The way he abuses power he's a danger to European Democracy and imho it's a shame that a guy like him is a representative of the EU

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