Is Atlas Shrugging at Europe?

The book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is about a world in which all the intelligent thinkers stop innovating and contributing to society. They believe that society is taking their profits and intruding on them. Basically, their incentive to work hard is taken away.

We have seen that Europe has stagnated for years. Most Economists theorize this to be because their is massive welfare state. For example, France made maximum work hours in a week.

The Economist report that even though there is a lot of immigration coming the European Union (EU), most are unskilled labor. Skilled being engineers and doctors. Things that require more than a high school education.

They report stats like 1/10th of Australia’s employed population is skilled foreigners. 7% in Canada and 3% in America. While the EU only gets 1.7%

To counter that the EU is going to try to create a “blue card” system to speed up the process for immigrants to get jobs. They would be allowed to move freely from one country to another.

I do not think this is going to help. I think that they do not come because there isn’t much room for innovation and most every type of business is highly regulated.

Lets look at some data:
Time and Cost to Open a Business – The days are how many it required to complete the procedures and the dollars are just government fees.
U.S. – 4 days and 166.5 dollars
Italy – 62 days and 5,012.10 dollars
Greece – 36 days and 1o,218 dollars
France – 53 days and 3,693 dollars
Spain – 82 days and 3,731.80
Source: Djankov, La Porta, and Shleifer (2003).

Average Downpayment on a Home (% average)
U.S. – 17%
Italy – 45%
France – 20%
Spain – 27%
Germany – 30%
Source: Chiuri and Jappelli (2003) European Economic Review; October

What immigrant wants to go to a place where it is hard to start your own business and have to pay a large percentage as a down payment on a home?


Published in: on November 19, 2007 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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