I would like my first post on Samizdata to be something of lasting utility, and a link to a fact-packed post on a new blog might be just the thing. Super-Economy (wonderfully subtitled ‘Kurdish-Swedish perspectives on the American Economy’) kicked off with a broadside against the egregious Paul Krugman. Krugman had said in his New York Times column that the US has lessons to learn from the EU because the latter’s growth has been as good – well, almost – as that of the US recently.
He demonstrated this by comparing US GDP levels with – incredible but true – three European cities: London, Paris and Frankfurt. Tino, the blogger, comes back not just with the obvious rebuttal of a comparison between a country and three of the world’s wealthiest cities but with tables comparing the US, its individual states and the countries of the EU. You can find, for example, that the UK ranks below Missouri in terms of GDP per head – but at least we are above Alabama, which beats France. In fact the UK has a GDP per head of $35,669 as compared with $45,489 for the US. The average for the EU15 is $33,452.
Tino also tabulates GDP per head of various ethnic groups in Europe and their transplanted kin in the US. The average Brit is two-thirds as productive as the average ‘British-American’. The ethnic angle is what would have interested Steve Sailer, where I saw Tino’s blog linked (Sailer is indispensable – one of the few bloggers whom I read every day).
The differences Tino lists are huge enough to overwhelm any cavilling about definitions or methods. File the tables and use them as intellectual ammunition against anyone who argues that left-leaning Europe is better at capitalism than the US is.