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Re: Retirement in Slovakia and EU

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  • votrubam
    ... A particularly relevant topic, Ron. First a few caveats, but the essence is sound. The table reflects the situation in 2007 and was first published by
    Message 1 of 56 , Jan 28, 2012
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      > put this in context

      A particularly relevant topic, Ron. First a few caveats, but the essence is sound.

      The table reflects the situation in 2007 and was first published by Slovakia's diminutive Communist Party in January 2009 to help them agitate people against democracy and the euro, freshly introduced then. It's been kicking around the Slovak internet since.

      The current average wages are ca. 765 euros and Social Security (dochodok) ca. 370 euros. I.e., the Slovak Social Security is paying each retiree ca. 48% of the average wages in the country. A US retiree is getting about 34% of the US average wages in SS payments.

      The above was just for comparison, the caveat is that the table compares nominal wages, not purchasing power. I.e., the difference between Slovakia and the other listed countries is actually much smaller, because prices are lower in Slovakia, which the Communist-compiled table chose to ignore. In real terms, e.g., the German wages buy about 60 percent more than the Slovak wages, not 440 percent more as a naive (and probably intended) reading of the table imputes.

      And because the table lists only the countries that use the euro, it is not obvious that while in "low gear" in that group, the Slovaks have now placed themselves among the wealthiest nations that the Communists, publishers of the table, ruined for 40+ years.

      Here are the latest country comparisons in terms of purchasing power:

      <http://www.pitt.edu/~votruba/qsonhist/regionalwealthcentraleurope.html>

      Keeping that in mind, it's true that on average, the Greeks have a higher purchasing power than the Slovaks. While many Slovaks feel so justified to rush and post cheap comments based on comparisons like in the table, what none of them ponder is where they, and their tiny country with almost no political clout, would stand with their wages and social security in the massive economic turmoil if the euro collapsed -- up there with Germany or down there with Hungary? In other words, no one has made a meaningful comparison between the Slovaks' costs/losses through helping Greece, no matter how undeservedly, and estimates of the Slovaks' costs/losses if they had to have their own currency again.

      It may or may not be worth it for the Slovaks to help save Greece from bankruptcy, but no one knows, while everyone "knows."


      Martin
    • LongJohn Wayne
      Thank you, so much.  Fascinating. ________________________________ From: votrubam To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday,
      Message 56 of 56 , Feb 16, 2012
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        Thank you, so much.  Fascinating.



        ________________________________
        From: votrubam <votrubam@...>
        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:13 PM
        Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Reviving our Slovak Heratage


         
        > Speaking of these Saints [Cyril & Methodius], Martin...
        > do you recommend a book of the historical account,
        > as opposed to a religious account, of their travels & adventures?

        There's little in English that's not naive or propagandist (Bulgarian, Greek, Slovak, Czech...). And what (formerly) meaningful there is, is rather dated by now, e.g., passages in:

        <http://tinyurl.com/7e88x9e> -- click on p. 205

        Plus the intro to the chapter on Clement of Ohrid in _Six Byzantine Portraits_ by the same author. And passages in:

        <http://books.google.com/books?id=aKEaAAAAIAAJ>

        We're waiting for Ben, with degrees in Byzantine studies in hand, to write "C&M: The True Story" in English.

        As an aside, there's going to be an "illustrated lecture" about Cyril and Methodius in Central Europe in Pittsburgh (Mount Lebanon) on Monday, March 5. I'll post the details later.

        Martin




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