21055Re: Euro go-ahead
- May 3 1:46 PM
> To back up the argument for statistics and perceptionThanks, 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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