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I suppose one doesn't actually need first-hand experience to have such an opinion, but it is somehow a little bit surreal to read a call for "A Return to Traditional American Virtues" written by a Swiss professor who works in Germany. It'd be like reading an American professor who'd never lived in Switzerland pontificating on how the Swiss need to return to their core values.

It's a particularly nice juxtaposition in this case, because one traditional American value is not listening to what European intellectuals say. ;-)




He's like the Karl May of economics!

(For those who've never heard of Karl May, he wrote a bunch of Westerns that are very popular in Europe. He had never been to America - and it shows in the books. But they are popular.)


Not to mention how poorly cited the whole thing is (like the dubious assessment that unemployment is twice the stated rate).


(like the dubious assessment that unemployment is twice the stated rate).

I've actually seen this claim made a lot, both in the media and on blogs. The basis for that claim is that the speaker believes U6 rather than U3 should be the official unemployment rate, and U6 is typically about double U3.

[edit: See joe_the_user's post, which was submitted as I was writing this.]


That's one point that one could defend.

The Shadow Government Statics site seems to put the current rate at about 23%.

http://www.shadowstats.com/

And sgs altogether makes a fairly plausibly argument... unlike parent article...


> it is somehow a little bit surreal to read a call for "A Return to Traditional American Virtues" written by a Swiss professor who works in Germany.

But it is somehow OK, since he writes it for the European audience who also doesn't live in America.

I guess it would be possible to build a system of perceived American values from abroad. Perhaps with so much information and so much exported American culture (via Hollywood movies for example), it would be possible to get a fairly accurate idea of what American values would be !?

But then again, an expert is an expert if there are enough people calling him that, so as long as there are others who share the same (possibly skewed) interpretation, the author will probably be considered now a local expert on Americanism.


> I suppose one doesn't actually need first-hand experience to have such an opinion

We don't see that sort of complaint when Europeans give other kinds of advice to America.


I think the key take away is, if he's arguing that ferociously that we're doing it wrong, he must be betting against what we're doing.




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