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Those Euro Capitalists

128shot

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I will refrain from calling it Euro socialism, its...not right, and sounds like a terminal illness

Now, one with what I was going to say...


European society has often been credited with being good to their people, with social programs, and general benefits for their citizens.


Kelzie, is one person who overwhelmingly sticks out in my mind about supporters of this system.


I think she makes a decent point, maybe we should all by force or otherwise, care a little bit about for our fellow man. This is an odd move by someone like me, as I generally despise most government and even more so, taxation, but for once, I'm going to go out on a limb and say if they found a find line between economically crippling their economys (lets face it, they stagnated, reform is coming through eventually) with all these social programs and not..well, it might be for the better...


Anyone else want to go out on limbs here?
 

Kandahar

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The "reforms" won't come in Europe until the countries start abandoning the very system you're advocating. Western Europe's economy (excluding the UK) is growing only half as fast as America's, and Western Europe's unemployment is twice that of America's. In the last twenty-five years, over 50 million jobs have been created in America, versus just 4 million in Western Europe (and almost all of those are government jobs).

Doesn't sound like a very vibrant system to me. If you truly want to "care a little bit about our fellow man," go with the system that actually works instead of the system that makes you feel better about yourself.
 
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128shot

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Kandahar said:
The "reforms" won't come in Europe until the countries start abandoning the very system you're advocating. Western Europe's economy (excluding the UK) is growing only half as fast as America's, and Western Europe's unemployment is twice that of America's. In the last twenty-five years, over 50 million jobs have been created in America, versus just 4 million in Western Europe (and almost all of those are government jobs).

Doesn't sound like a very vibrant system to me. If you truly want to "care a little bit about our fellow man," go with the system that actually works instead of the system that makes you feel better about yourself.

Actually the idea would be the same, the idea of reform is implementation differently, so I don't advocate the same system, but the same idea...
 

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The word socialism is typically used (but not always) to describe a system in which the state owns all of the means of pruduction. Clearly, most European countries are not socialist in that sense of the word.

The proper use for the word capitalism can pretty much be summed up as the protection of property rights and the ability of individuals to trade their property without restrictions.

Pro-free market individuals like myself would call most non-socialists first world countries, including the United States, statist.

That said, I think everybody reading this thread should read the following links before deciding if the European increasingly progressive social model is the best of ideas.
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/510
http://bastiat.net/en/Bastiat2001/madsen.pirie.html
 

Comrade Brian

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Euro-Capitalists? What the hell does that mean? A capitalist is a capitalist is a capitalist.
 

Red_Dave

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Kandahar said:
The "reforms" won't come in Europe until the countries start abandoning the very system you're advocating. Western Europe's economy (excluding the UK) is growing only half as fast as America's, and Western Europe's unemployment is twice that of America's. In the last twenty-five years, over 50 million jobs have been created in America, versus just 4 million in Western Europe (and almost all of those are government jobs).

Doesn't sound like a very vibrant system to me. If you truly want to "care a little bit about our fellow man," go with the system that actually works instead of the system that makes you feel better about yourself.
Well im with Saint-Simon in that i think a society should be judged by how it treats its worst of members. In this sence the european way of doing things fairs alot better than the american one. If your in america and your ill and/or disabled and/or poor your likely to be in deep **** without a wealthfare state but if your in europe chances are you will be better off. Americas way of running the economy creates more growth but you cant rate an economic system solely on that. Although the american system does create growth most of the wealth created either ends up in the hands of a select few or wasted on chemical weapons. What your left with is a huge gap between rich and poor. Ultimatly money is a but like manure, its only useful when spread out. Europes system may create less wealth but its distributed a bit more effectivly and therefore is a better system in my view.
 

libertarian_knight

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128shot said:
I will refrain from calling it Euro socialism, its...not right, and sounds like a terminal illness

Now, one with what I was going to say...


European society has often been credited with being good to their people, with social programs, and general benefits for their citizens.


Kelzie, is one person who overwhelmingly sticks out in my mind about supporters of this system.


I think she makes a decent point, maybe we should all by force or otherwise, care a little bit about for our fellow man. This is an odd move by someone like me, as I generally despise most government and even more so, taxation, but for once, I'm going to go out on a limb and say if they found a find line between economically crippling their economys (lets face it, they stagnated, reform is coming through eventually) with all these social programs and not..well, it might be for the better...


Anyone else want to go out on limbs here?
Careful, you're mixing ideas in such a dangerous way, you won't get that limb back.

Social Programs and Social Welfare, though indicitive of a sick society, are not really socialism. Socialism and the western "Middle way" deal with control of resources, production and distribution, not transfer payments. Resource control boards, regulatory enforcement and planning agencies, market controls such as : price controls, quotas, tariffs and subsidy, etc. are the Hallmarks of the misnomered "socialism." Socialism is about control of the economy, again, particulary concerning the resources, production and allocation of goods or services.

Social Welfare CAN be socialist, if used in a way to manipulate particulare resource or product distributions. Something like WIC is closer to socialism, than Welfare "checks." (As WIC promotes distribution of certain resources, such as Milk, Cereal, Eggs and Cheeses. Where as, transfer payments only promote "Goods in General," and even then, not necessarily goods the state would choose; such as foriegn produced goods, etc.)

Socialism is about control over resources, production and distribution.

WIC is mostly socialist, but still social welfare
National Healthcare is mostly socialist, and still mostly social welfare (also Medicare/Medicaid).
Transfer payments are lightly socialist, but largley social welfare.

Also, THE WAY a social program works, can make it more or less socialist. An income dependant transfer payment would be less socialist. Such a payment that puts limitation on spending or ownership, would be more socialist. In the USA, actual home owners needing income assistace (either used to, or still ) needed to sell their homes before being able to recieve a state check. This obviously would benefit landlords and developers more, and thus was a way to promote either rental housing or whatever development industries, or to create state dependancy.

What defines socialism is how much influence or control the state has over the distribution, allocation, or production of resources, good and services.

Some European (or other) countries may have nationalized industries, socialism. Some countries, like the USA, use the less direct route, resource control boards (the Alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that controls to some degree private industry, FCC, Dept of Agriculture, SEC, etc.), but these countries are actiually significantly socialist.

It's been refered to as "the middle way," a mix of socialism as capitalism. (It irrtates me, when the US has adopted "the middle way" for the last 85 years or so, and people say we should try a mix of socialism and capitalism. DUH, we already are doing it). Keynes became famous because his economic "policies" were excellent for use of statist "middle way" politics. It's one of the reasons governments and government schools so readily latched onto Keynes, was because he promoted a powerful central state, but not an authoritarian one. Of course, the road to authroitarianism is usually done is sucessive steps anyway, Keynes was just one of those steps, and has been surpased by many countries by now.
 
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Bergslagstroll

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libertarian_knight said:
Careful, you're mixing ideas in such a dangerous way, you won't get that limb back.

Social Programs and Social Welfare, though indicitive of a sick society, are not really socialism. Socialism and the western "Middle way" deal with control of resources, production and distribution, not transfer payments. Resource control boards, regulatory enforcement and planning agencies, market controls such as : price controls, quotas, tariffs and subsidy, etc. are the Hallmarks of the misnomered "socialism." Socialism is about control of the economy, again, particulary concerning the resources, production and allocation of goods or services.

Social Welfare CAN be socialist, if used in a way to manipulate particulare resource or product distributions. Something like WIC is closer to socialism, than Welfare "checks." (As WIC promotes distribution of certain resources, such as Milk, Cereal, Eggs and Cheeses. Where as, transfer payments only promote "Goods in General," and even then, not necessarily goods the state would choose; such as foriegn produced goods, etc.)

Socialism is about control over resources, production and distribution.

WIC is mostly socialist, but still social welfare
National Healthcare is mostly socialist, and still mostly social welfare (also Medicare/Medicaid).
Transfer payments are lightly socialist, but largley social welfare.

Also, THE WAY a social program works, can make it more or less socialist. An income dependant transfer payment would be less socialist. Such a payment that puts limitation on spending or ownership, would be more socialist. In the USA, actual home owners needing income assistace (either used to, or still ) needed to sell their homes before being able to recieve a state check. This obviously would benefit landlords and developers more, and thus was a way to promote either rental housing or whatever development industries, or to create state dependancy.

What defines socialism is how much influence or control the state has over the distribution, allocation, or production of resources, good and services.

Some European (or other) countries may have nationalized industries, socialism. Some countries, like the USA, use the less direct route, resource control boards (the Alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that controls to some degree private industry, FCC, Dept of Agriculture, SEC, etc.), but these countries are actiually significantly socialist.

It's been refered to as "the middle way," a mix of socialism as capitalism. (It irrtates me, when the US has adopted "the middle way" for the last 85 years or so, and people say we should try a mix of socialism and capitalism. DUH, we already are doing it). Keynes became famous because his economic "policies" were excellent for use of statist "middle way" politics. It's one of the reasons governments and government schools so readily latched onto Keynes, was because he promoted a powerful central state, but not an authoritarian one. Of course, the road to authroitarianism is usually done is sucessive steps anyway, Keynes was just one of those steps, and has been surpased by many countries by now.
Socialism as you like to think is not about state control over the economy but instead that the people have control over the economy. That can be archived through state control but then through a state with good democratic foundation. But it can also be through worker control over the factory and cooperations and it can be both centralised and decentralised.

Also why USA is going and some European countries is doing less good can have many explanation. Like for example germany have to rebuild east germany, problem getting EMU to work, demographics. At the same time some countries like my country Sweden, one of the most socialist countries is doing really well. Also remember that USA is the worlds biggest market and that you really take advantage of that dollar is the dominating currency. Finally also that you have alot more workhours while we in europe choose to have more free time.
 

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Red_Dave said:
Well im with Saint-Simon in that i think a society should be judged by how it treats its worst of members. In this sence the european way of doing things fairs alot better than the american one. If your in america and your ill and/or disabled and/or poor your likely to be in deep **** without a wealthfare state but if your in europe chances are you will be better off. Americas way of running the economy creates more growth but you cant rate an economic system solely on that. Although the american system does create growth most of the wealth created either ends up in the hands of a select few or wasted on chemical weapons. What your left with is a huge gap between rich and poor. Ultimatly money is a but like manure, its only useful when spread out. Europes system may create less wealth but its distributed a bit more effectivly and therefore is a better system in my view.
Most people fail to realize what effect the state actually plays in centralizing wealth, as it were. Your "approval" of European distribution comes from the fact that Europeans flatten out the distribution. However, it has to be done, ebcause of the role the state, through socialist policies and economic control, in actually creating income and wealth disparity, or at least continuing it.

The state (all economically inteventionist states) play a huge role in deciding who get's money, either through state contract and graft, or through market manipulation and regulation.

What is in fact happening Dave, is that you are commending the state for mildly mitigating a problme the state created in the first place. It's like cheering on the doctor who broke your leg, because he handed you a crutch (without ever mending the leg either).

The US government, contrary to popular opinion, is highly interventionist in the Economy, and has been for the better part of 85-95 years (or more really, but that time frame has some good event points, like the federal Reserve Act, or WWI resource control boards).

Many of the great ammassings of wealth that occur, often do so (through not exclusively) because people who end up acquiring the wealth have a strong relationship with the state (or several governments) in some fashion. Use of eminant domain for private projects, stores, malls, State contracts, regulations limiting competition or competitors from certain activity or entry into markets, grandfather clauses, some pollution controls, licensing and other state induced economic action, policy, or manipulation.

Many, though not all, of the world's largest corporations have done a great deal of business with the state directly, or through cronyism.
 

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Bergslagstroll said:
Socialism as you like to think is not about state control over the economy but instead that the people have control over the economy. That can be archived through state control but then through a state with good democratic foundation. But it can also be through worker control over the factory and cooperations and it can be both centralised and decentralised.

Also why USA is going and some European countries is doing less good can have many explanation. Like for example germany have to rebuild east germany, problem getting EMU to work, demographics. At the same time some countries like my country Sweden, one of the most socialist countries is doing really well. Also remember that USA is the worlds biggest market and that you really take advantage of that dollar is the dominating currency. Finally also that you have alot more workhours while we in europe choose to have more free time.
"The People" have control over the economy through the market. There is a myth running around, that the state represent that which is best for most people, most of the time. Guess what, it doesn't. A great many of the state's economic policies tend to hurt ALL people and benefit a select few. Control over the price of milk, does not benefit, "the people" but rather the milk producer. Control over the import of steel, does not help "the people" but domestic steel producers, at the expense of consumers, steel product producers, and foriegn producers. Tariffs on Wood don't help Builder, House buyers, Carpenters in general, craftsman, or any wood consumer, they help some domestic producers. Subsidy on agriculture benefits SOME farmers, at the expense of consumers, tax payers, OTHER farmers, and foreign farmers.

In nearly all areas of all market activity in all developed nations, what is going on, is a game of correcting imbalances mad by prior policies.

"The People" and the State are NOT synonyms, even in the most directly democratic societies. They're even less so, in the grossly underrepresented Western "Representative" Governments. See, even children, the disenfranchised, the infirm, and the politically disaffected all, and always do, have a voice in the market, even if they don't or can not in the state.

ALl the myths and platitudes about "worker control" or "popular control" being part of socialism, are really nonsense. Socialist countries are and have been (with the noble and rare exceptions of anarchic societies) in the reality for most people under state control especially in unrepresented or underrepresented societies. Granted SOME states are more responsive to popular will than others, but not completely so.

Yeah, you have like a whopping 2 weeks per year more "free time."
 

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libertarian_knight said:
"The People" have control over the economy through the market. There is a myth running around, that the state represent that which is best for most people, most of the time. Guess what, it doesn't. A great many of the state's economic policies tend to hurt ALL people and benefit a select few. Control over the price of milk, does not benefit, "the people" but rather the milk producer. Control over the import of steel, does not help "the people" but domestic steel producers, at the expense of consumers, steel product producers, and foriegn producers. Tariffs on Wood don't help Builder, House buyers, Carpenters in general, craftsman, or any wood consumer, they help some domestic producers. Subsidy on agriculture benefits SOME farmers, at the expense of consumers, tax payers, OTHER farmers, and foreign farmers.

In nearly all areas of all market activity in all developed nations, what is going on, is a game of correcting imbalances mad by prior policies.

"The People" and the State are NOT synonyms, even in the most directly democratic societies. They're even less so, in the grossly underrepresented Western "Representative" Governments. See, even children, the disenfranchised, the infirm, and the politically disaffected all, and always do, have a voice in the market, even if they don't or can not in the state.

ALl the myths and platitudes about "worker control" or "popular control" being part of socialism, are really nonsense. Socialist countries are and have been (with the noble and rare exceptions of anarchic societies) in the reality for most people under state control especially in unrepresented or underrepresented societies. Granted SOME states are more responsive to popular will than others, but not completely so.

Yeah, you have like a whopping 2 weeks per year more "free time."
Yes theoretical people have control over the market, but isn't it then as bad with a political system there one man has 30 votes and another only one vote, as a market economy there one guy have 3000000 to influence the market and another guy only 10000. Also remember that why that guy have 3000000 can be because of inheritage and also he can have gain that money unfairly. Also remember that market economy is not fair in the leadership, that the big producers has a way of influence against the will of mayority and greatly infringe on the will of a minority.

If workers control is sutch nonsense why can then swedish socialist unions go against the socialist party? Because in Sweden we have a socialist party that got elected and then seted the salaries for the workers in the public sectors. But those people in the public sector could go against the will of the politcian and by strike reach a better agrement. So that's a way to divide power that you have independent unions. Also you can have cooperation of either consumers or workers that today compete against the capitalist companies and tomorrow in the socialist state still will have a important roll.
 

Eichen

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By "European Capitalists", I assume you mean Democratic Socialistists?
Social Dmocracies perform poorly in several areas of economic concern (poor growth, unemployment, etc.) and foster xenophobia. What else is there to say?
Is Canada considered a full social democracy yet?
 

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Bergslagstroll said:
Yes theoretical people have control over the market, but isn't it then as bad with a political system there one man has 30 votes and another only one vote, as a market economy there one guy have 3000000 to influence the market and another guy only 10000. Also remember that why that guy have 3000000 can be because of inheritage and also he can have gain that money unfairly. Also remember that market economy is not fair in the leadership, that the big producers has a way of influence against the will of mayority and greatly infringe on the will of a minority.

If workers control is sutch nonsense why can then swedish socialist unions go against the socialist party? Because in Sweden we have a socialist party that got elected and then seted the salaries for the workers in the public sectors. But those people in the public sector could go against the will of the politcian and by strike reach a better agrement. So that's a way to divide power that you have independent unions. Also you can have cooperation of either consumers or workers that today compete against the capitalist companies and tomorrow in the socialist state still will have a important roll.

Several men may have 3000000 influence each, and several million have 10000 each. Sure some poeple may have gained unduely through inheritace or violence. That doesn't change the fact that if people don't serve the will of the consumers in a market economy, the inheritace is quickly eaten up or lost. For the violent, we have governmnet to prosecute and sieze their money. Power over the market, should not be power over the state. Yet, when the state and markets are mixed (government control over markets, leads to market control over governments), power over one is then power over both. Then, what you have, as in many western countries, is the guy with 3000000 influence "buying" government to gain more influence (essentailly "stolen" influence) then.

Fortunately for Sweden, most people are willing to let the Swedes alone, and you guys can do your own thing, and not be interfered with too much.
 

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libertarian_knight said:
Several men may have 3000000 influence each, and several million have 10000 each. Sure some poeple may have gained unduely through inheritace or violence. That doesn't change the fact that if people don't serve the will of the consumers in a market economy, the inheritace is quickly eaten up or lost. For the violent, we have governmnet to prosecute and sieze their money. Power over the market, should not be power over the state. Yet, when the state and markets are mixed (government control over markets, leads to market control over governments), power over one is then power over both. Then, what you have, as in many western countries, is the guy with 3000000 influence "buying" government to gain more influence (essentailly "stolen" influence) then.

Fortunately for Sweden, most people are willing to let the Swedes alone, and you guys can do your own thing, and not be interfered with too much.
Yep but if you have a "free market" the market have alot of control over people life. It decides for example if people can afford food, healt care, how many hours people have to work for a decent living etc. And who control the market according to you the consumer there the rich as much more money to spend and therefore influence the market. That leads to the people that changes in the market have the biggest affect on the poor has the least influence over the market. That's leads to injustices.

Also it is naive to think you can have a market without control. Because that leads to the creation of monopoly and that companies work togehter and create hinder for new coperation to be created.

Also you understand my example that independent unions can play a powerfull roll and balance the power of the state?
 

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Bergslagstroll said:
Yep but if you have a "free market" the market have alot of control over people life. It decides for example if people can afford food, healt care, how many hours people have to work for a decent living etc. And who control the market according to you the consumer there the rich as much more money to spend and therefore influence the market. That leads to the people that changes in the market have the biggest affect on the poor has the least influence over the market. That's leads to injustices.

Also it is naive to think you can have a market without control. Because that leads to the creation of monopoly and that companies work togehter and create hinder for new coperation to be created.

Also you understand my example that independent unions can play a powerfull roll and balance the power of the state?
The Market has actually no "control" over people, except the "control" people take on voluntarily. Every person is free to get out of the market system at any time, and produce all their own consumables. However, it will be a poor, hard life. Farming their own food, making their own shelter and clothes. Probably no electricty, running water, non-wood fuels, etc.

Other people have to make most of those things is quantities large enough to be useful. That means, if someone wants something other people have, the only ethical thing to do is trade for it. Either do it yourself, or trade for it. The thrid alternative is forcibly TAKE it, unethical.

PLenty, if not most, people get "rich" by fulfilling the demands, wants, and needs of as many people as possible. Because there are WAYYYYY more "not-rich" people than "rich poeple." Look at walmart (not a fan of all their practices, but just look), a Big American company that sells a lot of goods to "not-rich" poeple. GM, Ford, Volkswagon, McDonalds, Haynes, Microsoft, etc etc etc. all these really big companies, sell goods to the little guy, the small consumer with some money to spare. They don't focus on, or really even bother at all, with "rich people markets."

Each rich person has a lot of money, as one person. All rich people, really don't have that much money. Most "non-rich" people have a little money each, ALL non-rich poeple have way more money and influence that rich people, in the actual consumer markets.

Consumer desire rules consumers. Consumers rule consumer markets. Consumer markets rule Capital Markets, Capital markets rule resources and labor.

Consumer rules producer. Unions are PRODUCERS, they have more in common with the rich guy, than the general consumer.
 

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libertarian_knight said:
The Market has actually no "control" over people, except the "control" people take on voluntarily. Every person is free to get out of the market system at any time, and produce all their own consumables. However, it will be a poor, hard life. Farming their own food, making their own shelter and clothes. Probably no electricty, running water, non-wood fuels, etc.

Other people have to make most of those things is quantities large enough to be useful. That means, if someone wants something other people have, the only ethical thing to do is trade for it. Either do it yourself, or trade for it. The thrid alternative is forcibly TAKE it, unethical.

PLenty, if not most, people get "rich" by fulfilling the demands, wants, and needs of as many people as possible. Because there are WAYYYYY more "not-rich" people than "rich poeple." Look at walmart (not a fan of all their practices, but just look), a Big American company that sells a lot of goods to "not-rich" poeple. GM, Ford, Volkswagon, McDonalds, Haynes, Microsoft, etc etc etc. all these really big companies, sell goods to the little guy, the small consumer with some money to spare. They don't focus on, or really even bother at all, with "rich people markets."

Each rich person has a lot of money, as one person. All rich people, really don't have that much money. Most "non-rich" people have a little money each, ALL non-rich poeple have way more money and influence that rich people, in the actual consumer markets.

Consumer desire rules consumers. Consumers rule consumer markets. Consumer markets rule Capital Markets, Capital markets rule resources and labor.

Consumer rules producer. Unions are PRODUCERS, they have more in common with the rich guy, than the general consumer.
Well the thing is I don't like liberal voluantarism in the way you potray. Because for me the choise between starving and see you children suffering and work 20 hours you have no real choise. Also if people go outside the marketsystem and try to live in the woods they will be kicked out, because the person owning the forest don't want crazy people in it. So you first need to have money and use them inside the marketeconomy to get out of it.

Another intersting example is McDonalds and Coca Cola do they really give people that they want? Because yes it cheap and fast food, that people willingly buy. But that reall choise do they have if they have little money and time to cook and kids nagging on them. Also companies that produce unhealthy food have much more money to spend on advertising. Just look how many ads you seen for vegetable and milk and compare it to that for fast food and sodas. So the producers can screw the demands of the people to the more profitable demands. Because you can make much more money from fastfood and sodas, because it cheap products that it is easy to create a brand image around. To products like fruits and milks that have less profitmargins.

Also would you think it would be fine in a democracy that some people had 30 votes and some only 1 so long as they there few?
 

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What you socialists need to realize about free market capitalism is that there is a difference between that and crony capitalism, and yes, government does have a job in promoting free market capitalism over crony capitalism. We libertarians are not anarchists, after all.
 

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Axismaster said:
What you socialists need to realize about free market capitalism is that there is a difference between that and crony capitalism, and yes, government does have a job in promoting free market capitalism over crony capitalism. We libertarians are not anarchists, after all.
But I'm misstaken then I assume some libertarian want a anarchistic market?
 

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Bergslagstroll said:
But I'm misstaken then I assume some libertarian want a anarchistic market?
No, it sounds as though you were coming out in favor of the highly regulated and slow market of Europe. We libertarians want a free market, not an anarchist market, but Europe does not.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Axismaster said:
No, it sounds as though you were coming out in favor of the highly regulated and slow market of Europe. We libertarians want a free market, not an anarchist market, but Europe does not.
But as you know of the situation in USA and Europe the problem is not the size of the cake. Because the cake is already big enough. Therefor it can be of higher priority to create a fair society then a richer society. Also you could look at my country Sweden that is one of the most regulated countries in europe and also got the strongest unions and we are doing almost better then USA economicly. But that do you mean by free? Because for some freedom can be not get killed by cancer because of unhealthy workcondition, for others freedom can be deciding the workcondition in your own factory without any regulation. For some people freedom can be agotion themself to a fair salary and ok hours for others freedom is to be allowed to force the workes to work 15 hours a day with love salaries. For some freedom is knowing that the products they buy is safe for some freedom is selling product without informing about the risks.
 

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Kandahar said:
The "reforms" won't come in Europe until the countries start abandoning the very system you're advocating. Western Europe's economy (excluding the UK) is growing only half as fast as America's, and Western Europe's unemployment is twice that of America's. In the last twenty-five years, over 50 million jobs have been created in America, versus just 4 million in Western Europe (and almost all of those are government jobs).

Doesn't sound like a very vibrant system to me. If you truly want to "care a little bit about our fellow man," go with the system that actually works instead of the system that makes you feel better about yourself.
Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html#Econ

so your defention of the fellow man is limited of the top 20 percentile?

I wonder if the 12% of americans living below the poverty line is in awe by the strenght of the american economy....
 
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