This was published in 2007. I wonder if the conclusions are as true today as they were 5 years ago.
THIS REPORT IS ABOUT THE FACT that per capita GDP is lower in most of the countries of Europe than in most of the states of the USA. That France, Italy and Germany have less per capita GDP than all but five of the states of the USA is probably something that messrs Chirac, Schröder and Berlusconi don’t wish to know. Or that Göran Persson is prime minister of a country which, if it were a part of the USA, would rank as one of the very poorest states in that Union? Can this be true? Is it plausible?
It is both true and plausible. America’s GDP is far higher than Europe’s and has been so for a long time now, and the American economy has been growing faster than the economies of many European countries in recent decades, not least those of countries like France, Germany and Sweden.
The US recession, with GDP growth rates of 1 or 2 per cent, represents almost boom conditions in Germany, for example. Europe may have its Eiffel Tower in Paris, its Coliseum in Rome, fine roads in Germany and social security systems in Sweden, but it will take more than past achievements to cope with the economic challenges which many European countries are facing. Economic challenges which among other things will be brought about by demographic developments and will impose heavy strains on comprehensive, publicly funded welfare systems.1