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21055Re: Euro go-ahead

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  • Martin Votruba
    May 3 1:46 PM
      > To back up the argument for statistics and perception

      Thanks, Ron. It was refreshing to see no blame on the euro for that.
      Since the collapse of communism, not only that part of the continent,
      but also Western Europe has been slowly moving towards the large gap
      between the top incomes and the middle- and lower-middle-class incomes
      that has been typical of the US. The American laborers' average
      purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for
      about three decades now.

      The gap is already quite large in Slovakia -- fewer than 30% of the
      population, a large segment of them in Bratislava, have salaries above
      the country's average, 70% earn less than average salaries. A
      specific post-com situation that fosters social discontent is that,
      broken down by age groups, the highest average salaries are earned by
      the 30-34-year-old Slovaks. By comparison, the people in their 50s,
      whose incomes are the highest in most societies, which gives many of
      them a sense of accomplishment and deserved status, are making about
      10% less in Slovakia.

      At the same time, while the gap between the middle-class and the top
      earners has been opening faster in the post-com countries than in the
      older European democracies, the purchasing power of all the employed
      has been growing in Slovakia, and substantially so. A recent article
      has worked out that the Slovaks were able to buy about 6.2% more with
      their salaries by the end of 2007 than when the year began, an
      exceptional year, but part of a trend. Of course, that's not what the
      doom-and-gloom Slovaks say in opinion polls.


      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
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