Lecture20_WhatCanWeLearnFromEurope

Lecture20_WhatCanWeLearnFromEurope - Professor Kelemen...

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Professor Kelemen Social Policy and Politics: Lessons from Europe Spring 2010 Last Lecture What can we learn from Europe
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An old Hungarian saying from my grandfather: A pisés és a pezsgő között, sok ital van
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A pisés és a pezsgő között, sok ital van (Between urine and champagne, there are many beverages) Comparing public policies
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Why Study Europe? It is always right for one who dwells in a well- ordered state to go forth on a voyage of enquiry by land and sea so as to confirm thereby such of his native laws as are rightly enacted and to amend any that are deficient. Plato , Laws The greatness of the Americans does not simply consist in their being more enlightened than other nations, but in their being able to repair their faults. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America Those who only know one country, know no country. Seymour Martin Lipset
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Why Study Europe? To understand Europe for its own sake… Biggest economic bloc in the world Largest group of democracies Our strongest allies EU is a political body unprecedented in history To understand American politics and policy better by learning from other democracies… How do other democracies work? How have European countries dealt with challenges similar to those we face? Health Care Social Policies Environmental Policy Education Pensions etc…
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To counter misconceptions / myths about Europe in American public debates Excerpt from Hill, Europe’s Promise, p.30
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What can we learn from Europe Government is not “the problem” Bad government or too much government can be a problem But absence of government can be a problem too In many economically successful European countries, government spending as a % of GDP is far higher than in the US and taxes are far higher In the US, absence/weakness of government has contributed to major crises
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What can we learn from Europe You get what you pay for, and… You need to pay for what you get.
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Are we over-taxed? Certainly some taxes are high (such as property taxes in New Jersey), but overall taxes as a share of GDP in the US are among the lowest in the industrialized world Taxes as a % of GDP: 27% in US vs. an OECD average of 36.2% (and a number of EU countries above 40%)
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Are we over-taxed? Taxes in US have fallen dramatically over past 30 years 1978 top fed tax rates: 70% individuals, 48% corporate; 40% capital gains 2011: 35% individuals, 35% corporate and 15% capital gains Is it any wonder the federal budget deficit is skyrocketing? Taxes that are too high (coupled with poor gov’t
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course 360 290 taught by Professor Dankelemen during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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Lecture20_WhatCanWeLearnFromEurope - Professor Kelemen...

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