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Europe is no utopia, not even Scandanavia, contrary to the fictional accounts of the American Left. Much of Europe is actually rather pinched by U.S. standards. This link from Mises Wire shows that median incomes in Sweden and Germany would place those countries among the poorest U.S. states. The comparisons at the link are based on OECD data from 2012. Here are some examples in terms of median income:

  • The U.K. is poorer than any U.S. state (Mississippi is at the bottom in the U.S.);
  • Sweden is poorer than all but 12 states;
  • Denmark is below all but 13 US states;
  • Germany is below all but 9 US states, and France is below Germany;
  • Only Luxembourg, Norway, and Switzerland would rank as high-income states, were they part of the U.S.

The results are even more striking after adjusting for purchasing power across individual states in the U.S.:

“… we find that Sweden’s median income ($27,167) is higher than only six states: Arkansas ($26,804), Louisiana ($25,643), Mississippi ($26,517), New Mexico ($26,762), New York ($26,152) and North Carolina ($26,819).

We find something similar when we look at Germany, but in Germany’s case, every single US state shows a higher median income than Germany. Germany’s median income is $25,528. Things look even worse for the United Kingdom which has a median income of $21,033, compared to $26,517 in Mississippi.

Again, Luxembourg is the standout. It would rank as the second highest state in terms of real median disposable income, were it part of the U.S.

Europe certainly has its charms, not to mention its share of old wealth, but the contention that it is more “advanced” economically than the U.S. is laughable. This is not a new development, and economic growth in Europe has been dismal (and negative in a number of countries) over the past eight years. The notion that the socialist democrats of Europe have created a prosperity that the U.S. should envy is a myth.