I’m not a big fan on international bureaucracies, particularly the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD, funded by American tax dollars, has become infamous for its support of statist pro-Obama policies.
- The OECD has allied itself with the nutjobs from the so-called Occupy movement to push for bigger government and higher taxes.
- The OECD, in an effort to promote redistributionism, has concocted absurdly misleading statistics claiming that there is more poverty in the US than in Greece, Hungary, Portugal, or Turkey.
- The OECD is pushing a “Multilateral Convention” that is designed to become something akin to a World Tax Organization, with the power to persecute nations with free-market tax policy.
- The OECD supports Obama’s class-warfare agenda, publishing documents endorsing “higher marginal tax rates” so that the so-called rich “contribute their fair share.”
But I’m a policy wonk, so I’ll admit that I often utilize certain OECD’s statistics. After all, if numbers from a left-wing organization help to advance the cause of liberty, that makes it harder for opponents to counter our arguments.
With that being said, let’s look at some truly remarkable statistics from the OECD website on comparative living standards in industrialized nations. This chart shows average levels of individual consumption (AIC) for 31 OECD countries. There are several possible measures of prosperity, including per-capita GDP. All are useful, but AIC is thought to best capture the well-being of a people.
As you can see from this chart, the United States ranks far ahead of other nations. The only countries that are even close are Norway, which is a special case because of oil wealth, and Luxembourg, which also is an outlier because it is a tiny nation that also serves as a tax haven (a very admirable policy, to be sure).
At the risk of making an understatement, this data screams, “THE U.S. SHOULD NOT BECOME MORE LIKE EUROPE.”
For all intents and purposes, Americans are about 40 percent better off than their European counterparts, in part because we have less government and more economic freedom.
And don’t forget European living standards will presumably fall even further - relative to the U.S. - as the fiscal crisis in nations such as Greece, Spain, and Italy spreads to other welfare states such as France and Belgium
Here’s another chart that looks at the G-7 nations. Once again, the gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is remarkable.
Maybe, just maybe, the United States should try to copy nations that are doing better, not ones that are doing worse. Hong Kong and Singapore come to mind.
Getting there is simple. Just reduce the size and scope of government.