How Socialist Europe Is Crushing the United States

It was no doubt painful for the Economist when it half-conceded, a couple of issues ago, that maybe the French economy is doing something right. The French! Somewhere between the socialized medicine and the runaway state planning, they managed to create a series of automatic stabilizers that kept unemployment from shooting through the roof and demand from the falling through the floor. This led to a hearty round of round of soul-searching about various European models waxing as the Anglo-Saxon model wanes.

Somewhat along those lines, I see via the Center for Economic and Policy Research that new comparative unemployment data is available, and America now has higher unemployment than the EU-15. Fancy graph:

600 unemployment in US and EU.jpg

My first thought after looking at this graph was that it couldn't be population adjusted. (The average unemployment rate among 15 European countries would look very different from the unemployment rate in Europe.) But it is.

My second thought was that this would look different if you took all 27 EU countries into consideration, and not just the 15. But I went back to the source data and found that I was pretty much wrong about that too. The unemployment rate across the EU is 8.3%.