The World Compared to the States

Ben Hoffman is having another monster conversation describing Common Right-Wing Lies.  Ben’s post begins by talking about what he considers lies:

  1. right-wingers claim Obama promised that unemployment would not go above 8 percent if the stimulus was passed. Eric Cantor claimed: “We were promised. The president said we would keep unemployment under 8.5 percent (if the stimulus passed).”
  2. Lie: Reagan’s tax cuts resulted in increased revenues.
  3. Lie: Obama’s spending has resulted in a huge budget deficit.

And then he refutes that by claiming the “Fact”:

  1. The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan report included a graph that projected unemployment rates without the stimulus would peak at 9% and with the stimulus at just under 8%. That is not a promise; it is a projection, an estimate, a prediction. Claiming it was a promise is crazy talk.
  2. Reagan’s tax cuts resulted in decreased revenues. His tax increases resulted in increased revenues.
  3. Obama is responsible for only a small sliver of the deficit.

Now, there is a whole board full of comments on the subject; stop over for the debate.

However, during that debate, we began to take on the role of Government and really what it means when the Government creates public programs; Libraries, Parks, Beaches, Zoos and Police/Fire Stations.  I contend that when the government uses public money to establish and run these organizations, it is the equivalent of robbing one neighbor at gun point only to take that money and give it to your other neighbor in the form of a library, museum or zoo.

Of course this is a Libertarian point of view.  And maybe taken to its extreme, is a bit untenable.  But I do maintain that if a government is going to set up public works programs, it should be as local to the people as possible.  There is very little argument that can be made that would support taking money from citizens in North Carolina to support a Federal program giving money to an Art District in California.

Anyway, during the debate, one of us, Arbourist, made a comment stating that Socialist States are alive and well in the world:

Of course not, libertarianism has not ever been implemented, nor will it ever be implemented. It is not a practical way to run a society, unlike socialism which has many practical applications, and is doing great in many locations:Cuba, Venezuela, Nigeria, Canada, Sweden, Norway, […].

This got me to thinking.  So, I went out and grabbed some data here and here.  Put it down and paper and came up with this:

GDP per Capita

This is a graph showing the GDP per Capita of the World’s richest 50-60-70 nations, some interesting nations not in that group and then the list of nations quoted by Arbourist.  Further, I have compared these nations to the States of the United States of America, just to see where they rank.

Check out some interesting notes:

  1. The top 4 nations all are financial destination countries.  Their rankings might be skewed as such.
  2. Of the nations mention by the Arbourist, only 1, Norway, ranks ahead of the United States.  The 5 remaining rank below the United States.
  3. Of the 5 that rank behind the USA, two rank ahead of the European Union.
  4. While Norway ranks ahead of the USA in total, if Norway became a State, it would only be the 5th richest in our Nation.
  5. If Canada and Sweden were to become States, they would be the 40th and 43rd richest States respectively.
  6. And finally, if Venezuela, Cuba and Nigeria were to become States, they would immediately be the poorest States in the Country; their combined GDP per Capita not even equaling that of Mississippi–currently the poorest State in the Nation.

No, the fact remains.  The United States of America is the single richest Nation ever in the history of the world.  And we are so rich because we try to maximize the free market and the flow of capital and the driving motivation of profits.  The freer the market, the better off her citizens.

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