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Thank God for Mississippi the E.U.

All right, normally I consider it redundant to link to something that Glenn has already linked to, but today I couldn't resist.

American progressives and socialist wannabes have long idealized Nordic Europe as a sort of socialist Eldorado, where an enlightened government has achieved the perfect balance between a wealthy, thriving economy and a societal safety net that might as well be a hammock.

A story from yesterday's New York Times, however, deflates the myth of Europe's "wealthiest" worker's paradise. The article focuses primarily on Norway, but check out this fascinating tidbit:

...[I]f the E.U. was treated as a single American state, it would rank fifth from the bottom, topping only Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi. In short, while Scandinavians are constantly told how much better they have it than Americans, Timbro's statistics suggest otherwise. So did a paper by a Swedish economics writer, Johan Norberg.

There's also this:

After adjusting the figures for the different purchasing powers of the dollar and euro, the only European country whose economic output per person was greater than the United States average was the tiny tax haven of Luxembourg, which ranked third, just behind Delaware and slightly ahead of Connecticut.

Are you listening, Peace and Moonbeam?