What is the best current economic society?

It’s easy to attack systems, whether it is health care or economic/tax systems. We’ve talked about other countries health care systems, but is there an economic system out there in some country that people would hold up as an “ideal” system? Understand that this can be a challenging concept due to apples to apples problems, but hey, this is P&R, we always can use a new topic in which to abuse each others opinions! ;)

“Ideal” for whom? The rich? The middle-class? The poor? I suppose you might say the system that does the most good for the majority, but then you’d have to define what constitutes “good” - does a safety net or the potential for upward mobility count for more?

For the rich, you’d be hard-pressed to make a case for anywhere but the US. For everyone else, it’s probably the Scandinavian model.

I am far from rich and would pick the US over anything else ive read about in the world. I am sure many many other non rich people here in the US would do the same.

In other words, you’ve never really lived anywhere else, so have no first hand knowledge?

Ok how many people on this board have actually lived long enough periods of time in other countries, to have jobs there and fully experience the economic systems of those countries? If you limit it to only those people this wont be much of a discussion.

I doubt Jason has lived in a Scandinavian country, but I didnt see you call out his opinion as having no first hand knowledge.

Ive done the same as the vast majority of people on this board, ive visited other countries, but never lived anywhere but my home country.

Rather than guessing and “doubting”, why don’t you ask what his experience is? As for why Case jumped down your throat & not Jason’s, it’s because you come off as a provincial bumpkin, while Jason seems to have more awareness of other ways of living.

Ive done the same as the vast majority of people on this board, ive visited other countries, but never lived anywhere but my home country.

Don’t presume to know the experiences of the “vast majority of people on this board”. Many of us have lived in other countries for a long period. More importantly, many more of us have many friends from foreign countries and get first hand accounts of what it’s like to live there. You, on the other hand, have “read about” other countries. That doesn’t mean you should be excluded from the conversation, but it should make you realize that your opinion isn’t well informed, so everybody (including you) should take it with a grain of salt.

As for my response to Jeff’s question: I’m not sure. But one thing I really appreciated about the European system (I lived in Spain for a year) were the safety net that the government provided. People weren’t deathly afraid of losing their jobs like they are in the United States. I didn’t notice a huge difference in the number of asshole bosses, but the severity of the behaviour was stunning; the petty loser bosses in Spain couldn’t hold a candle to the vindictiveness & evil of American asshole bosses.

I also heard many complaints about the difficulty of getting rid of shitty co-workers, and to a certain extent the job security created more lethargy than there is in American businesses. Overall, I preferred their system, but it wasn’t a perfect paradise. And I have no idea what their economic life is like now; I lived there before their economy tanked.

So even in your travels, you can’t see yourself living somewhere else? Nowhere you thought, “Yeah, this would be kinda cool.”

I’ve lived in Germany, Canada and Japan; all of them have strengths and weaknesses. I’ve traveled to other places, tending to stay in one location renting an apartment rather than doing the “one city every day” type of trip. I’ve fallen in love with several places, and could see myself living in any of several countries.

But then, I’m weird that way. The majority of people tend to live within a few miles of where they’re born. Despite our seeming mobility, we settle in to what’s comfortable and familiar. That’s not a knock, that’s just human nature. Sorry I was so snarky, but that may be more my issue than yours.

Would I actually move outside the US? It’s hard to say, but I could see it happening under the right circumstances.

I’m not going anywhere; I like the US! I’m an upper middle class white guy though, so it’s not like I’m experiencing any of the downsides of the country.

“I wouldn’t do it” is not the same question as “which as the best.” What’s so great about the US for a medium income earner that it cancels out their lower wages, worse health care, worse legal protections, worse ROI on government, etc., etc.? I guess if you really think you have a chance of getting rich (which I think is a myth, so I assign it a weight of zero), or really prefer the US’s culture (which I don’t think you can make recommendations about).

I spent some time in Japan and it’s easier to earn a living in the US I’d say.

Japan has better health care though.

I’ve lived around the world, being from a military family, and have lived/stayed for extended periods in a variety of countries due to work. Also, from my work network, I have some really good friends I’ve developed from around the world. In fact, while I was in India in October, I was with a consortium we belong to that has my peers from a variety of countries: UK, Greece, South Africa, Australia, Germany, India, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, (and I’m forgetting a couple.) We regularly discuss, over our dinners and wine while we’re meeting together, our economic systems and the pluses and minuses, and we’re good enough friends to be honest and not take offense at opinions.

The question of better for who is a good one, and one we haggle over. I was really thinking overall: the economic system that provides for a strong business environment, that fosters innovation and creativity, that allows hard working and creative and talented people to maximize their abilities, a system that minimizes poverty and social immobility, a system that provides, as someone articulated in another thread, fairness as defined by opportunity. Health care always creeps into the discussion, because quality of life in so many ways - health, of course, but also your economic well being (e.g. going bankrupt because of a health crisis.)

We have yet to come to consensus, BTW. ;)

For me, HK. Better health care than US, lower taxes than EU or US, lower unemployment. There’s a number of reasons why it has been my base since leaving UK in 1993. Massively high property prices are a pain though, solved for median and below households by very cheap public housing (49% of households)

From a pure economic POV, Singapore > HK due to the way they force saving, so you can’t live like a grasshopper even if you want to. But Singapore is too much the nanny state. HK is a bit more sink/ swim.

Of course, being city-states that act as entrepots/ money laundering centres/ safe havens for the places around them, the issues are a bit different to a “real” country.

So would most Libyans, probably. It’s where they’re from.

Switzerland is quite nice. Well the natives are a bit xenophobic, but it’s one of the few places on the planet left where people still have some say over what’s happening to them - they have referendums all the time about stuff. Also, the military service is mandatory and everyone who completes it gets to keep the gun(s). There are a lot of military grade guns in Swiss homes! So you’d imagine the government would think twice about screwing too much with armed citizens. OTOH, looking at the gun happy population of USA and how it didn’t protect them at all from being swindled out of their money, maybe that’s just a wishful thinking.

Well, gun ownership may scare governments, but it doesn’t do much to faze corporations.

I’m Malaysian and I’ve lived in France, Gabon and the Solomon Islands. I’ve never worked in Singapore but I have enough friends and family there that I’m confident of knowing what it’s like there. The Solomon Islands is as close to anarchy as I would dare to get, so no, do not want.

France is a very nice place to live but the sense of entitlement that the people there have left a sour taste in my mouth. I lean well to the right of most posters here on QT3 and that’s at least partly due to my experiences in France. The French seemed to go on strike at the drop of a hat and fought desperately to defend their own corner of rights and privileges. The entire concept of acquis sociaux seemed ugly to me.

I find Malaysia to be okay. There is almost no social safety net but I don’t live in dread of losing my job. The economy is growing so fast and the job market is dynamic enough that I’m absolutely confident that I can find a new job in less than a week. The unemployment here is effectively zero.

KL-residents complain that inflation in the city is outpacing wage increases but to me the solution is: if you can’t afford it, don’t live in the city. The main problem that I can perceive is that some people do fall through the cracks of society, such as the mentally ill. We do however have public hospitals that offer treatment for almost no cost, but waiting lists are long and the facilities are sometimes inadequate. Many people in the middle class and above simply go to private hospitals, which are extremely expensive.

Like Wisbechlad, I find places like Hong Kong and Singapore to be ideal, combining the dynamism of free markets with competent government and generally rich economies. And surely Singapore’s problems are political rather than economic?

I’d prefer Sweden. I’d gladly pay twice my current taxes for a proper social safety net for everyone. Nothing empowers a middle class like security.

As for my “have lived/ worked elsewhere” credentials - India/UK/HK/Japan/Indonesia

Deccan what were you doing in the Solomons? My firm has a lot of business in PNG, but so far have avoided that one…

I’ve lived in the US (New York City, upper New Jersey, Ithaca NY, and Seattle) Hong Kong, France (Paris), Beijing Australia (Canberra) and now Singapore. Insofar as pure economic health is concerned, it’s Singapore by a country mile. Very, very little poverty, very modern, state of the art, infrastructure, very good health care; extremely clean and comfortable. But insofar as quality of life is concerned, as a upper middle-class I’d take Paris, Seattle and maybe Hong Kong, and maybe even Canberra over Singapore, because some of the nanny-state stuff does get a little tiring (that said, thinks seem to be getting better, albeit quite slowly). The worst place I lived, both economically and quality of life, was up-state New Jersey followed by Ithaca, NY. Worse than Beijing.

Oh, and Deccan, I’ve never lived there, but I recently visited Penang Island and would move there from Singapore in a New York minute if I had the chance. And I know a lot of ex pats here in Singers who feel the same way.

I was hired by a Malaysian business partner to help out in a venture with one of the richest men in the Solomons. The guy represents the most dramatic rags to riches story I personally know. He arrived as a teenager from China in the 1970s to work as a mechanic for an Australian-owned plantation. Today, he owns several office buildings in Honiara (granted, they’re small buildings but it’s a small city), the local cement factory, a heavy machinery workshop, hardware stores, a construction business etc.

I was actually in the Solomon Islands during both the coup in 2000 and the riots in 2006.