backtop


Print 87 comment(s) - last by BRB29.. on Jun 17 at 2:26 PM

Letter to Attorney General demands information on secret spying program

It was revealed last week that the Obama administration had carried out two massive spying programs, one of which primarily target foreigners (PRISM) seizing emails, chat records, and more; and a second (unnamed) which targeted the majority of U.S. citizens seizing so-called "telephony metadata" that allowed the Obama administration to track most U.S. citizens on a daily basis.

I. EU Upset About U.S. Monitoring, Demands Information


Some U.S. politicians have cheered the whistleblower, who recently outed himself in Hong Kong.  Others have pushed to cover up the mess in the name of "national security", including some of Mr. Obama's allies who hold prominent posts in the Republican Party.

The latest development comes from the European Union.  Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, wrote a letter to Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder demanding information about the program.

Viviane Reding
Viviane Reding, the EU commissioner for justice and rights [Image Source: Reuters]

In her letter, obtained by Reuters, she writes:

I would request that you provide me with explanations and clarifications on the Prism program, other U.S. programs involving data collection and search, and laws under which such programs may be authorized.

It appears that U.S. citizens aren't the only ones who were left in the dark by the Obama administration.  Even top officials in the U.S.'s EU ally states have expressed confusion, saying they were not informed of the PRISM spying.

Commissioner Reding finds that extremely frustrating given that she worked so hard in 2012 to draft stricter new rules to safeguard law-abiding EU citizens from spying by foreign governments or corporations.  AG Holder and Commissioner Reding are scheduled to meet tomorrow (Friday) at a ministerial gathering in Dublin, Ireland.

Eric Holder
AG Eric Holder will be forced to talk to the EU this Friday. [Image Source: AP]

Data privacy has been an issue that has plagued the EU.  The EU has worked hard to create more transparent law enforcement and surveillance, giving citizens unjustly targeted avenues to appeal.  But those efforts are at risk as the U.S. is suspected of spying on EU citizens.

In her letter to AG Holder. Minister Reding asks the Obama administration official to detail how many EU citizens were targeted, what kinds of information were collected, and how citizens could appeal the targeting.

II. Europe Grows Frustrated With Its Orwellian Ally

The idea of being able to "appeal" government spying is a relatively foreign idea in the U.S. police state, where many citizens have grown complacent to the notion that the government accesses their data.  

Today under the Oct. 2001 USA PATRIOT Act, citizens are prohibited from even being told they're being spied on.  And under the act there's virtually no route to appeal; most court challenges have fallen flat.

That's bad news for the average law-abiding American who has now discovered the government is storing information on their location and phone-call contacts on a daily basis (the aforementioned "metadata").

By contrast, EU citizens have been much more vocal about preserving freedom in the form of privacy protections for law-abiding citizens.  As a result, the EU's government -- while not perfect on privacy issues -- has behaved far differently than the U.S. government, fighting to protect its citizens from unjust foreign or domestic spying (Coincidentally, the program was first published in the EU, in Britain’s Guardian newspaper).

EU flags
The EU is intent on protecting its citizens from unjust U.S. spying. [Image Source: AFP]

The EU is under pressure from businesses to fight the spying, which represents uncertainty to data firms in Europe.  Comments a minister to Reuters, "The storage of the data in the foreign servers and related legal uncertainty constitutes a real impediment."

President Obama
The Obama administration has shot down EU data protection efforts. [Image Source: AP]

But so far the U.S. has rejected EU requests to clarify and narrow its spying on EU citizens.  There were major talks in 2011 to adopt a transatlantic data protection agreement that would restrict the U.S.'s right to seize European data under the PATRIOT Act.  But ultimately Europe wanted its citizens to have similar protections on U.S. soil, a term U.S. authorities were unwilling to accept.  The talks have since made virtually no progress.

Sources: EU Rights Commissioner, Reuters



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Clown show
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/13/2013 12:56:05 PM , Rating: 3
The EU does as well. You can't trust them any more than any other government.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/13/2013 1:10:14 PM , Rating: 1
This trust/distrust is the issue. A people gets the government it deserves. Fundamentally distrust your government and you'll get people in that government who are fundamentally distrustful.

Government in the EU is far from flawless, but in general there is trust. That trust is earned by defending its people in cases such as these. This works until the leaders really screw up and do something contrary to what they say they will do. So far they've only been screwing up through inaction rather than action.

Funny thing though. Americans have by far more means to 'control' or at least check government. You can directly vote for your president, for your senators, for your congresspeople. There is a Freedom of Information Act. You also have the right to bear arms, something to do with overthrowing the government etc etc. Yet the distrust there is still much much greater than in the EU where we don't have much of the above. We might have it at the local and national levels, but not at the European level.


RE: Clown show
By Oceanryder on 6/13/2013 1:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think government distrust is part of the American Zeitgeist; everyone has a little. What's amusing to me is that most of the people I see feigning shock and surprise are the same readily providing personal information/behavior on social media sites and other internet outlets (i.e. search engines, commercial sites). Frankly, I think the anger is a bit misdirected.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/13/2013 1:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
Oceanryder: Agreed.

However, privacy is a modern invention. Once upon a time before big cities etc when people actually still lived in communities there wasn't any privacy either. So I don't really get what the fuss is all about anyway :)


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/13/2013 1:38:39 PM , Rating: 1
People used to have sex outside in front of others too until Christianity arrived.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/13/2013 1:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
BRB29: Civilization is contingent on privacy? I don't know. I think we were all more civilized with one another when we still had proper social control and were a bit less individualistic.

Is reductio ad absurdum really the best you can do by the way?


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/13/2013 3:07:03 PM , Rating: 1
No i was simply agreeing with Nephi.


RE: Clown show
By Ammohunt on 6/13/2013 2:12:44 PM , Rating: 4
Europe consists of primarily mono cultures where people share a common cultural bond so trust within a given nation exists. When you zoom out and look at the EU as a whole there is massive distrust between countries. Americas culture being comprised of every culture in the world is welded together as best it can be. I still would never trade it for the socialist human zoos that dominate Europe.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/13/2013 3:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
Since when is being social a bad thing? Sure beats anti-social egoism any day.

Also your statement regarding Europe consisting of primarily mono cultures is dead wrong. I need only point to a city such as Amsterdam where, on a population of 800k, there are 176 different nationalities present. Amsterdam is a culturally diverse city and has been since before the USA even existed as a country. Is Europe as diverse as the USA? Maybe not. But to say the countries the EU consists of are monocultural is oversimplifying it.


RE: Clown show
By Ammohunt on 6/13/2013 3:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
“The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society.”


Minister Piet Hein Donner
June 16 2012

The result of a direct threat to the Dutch mono-culture...just one example.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/13/2013 4:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
2011. He resigned not much later. The cabinet also fell and new elections were had. The current coalition no longer includes his party. I'd say that says enough about how the Dutch people feel about his views :)


RE: Clown show
By Ammohunt on 6/13/2013 4:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since when is being social a bad thing? Sure beats anti-social egoism any day.


When the rights of the social collective override the rights of the individual.

Note* See The Borg first appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Q Who?"


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/13/2013 4:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
Being social works both ways. In a truly social society other people will also make sure you are treated fairly and that your rights are being respected. Again, this requires trust.


RE: Clown show
By Ammohunt on 6/13/2013 4:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, history has proven time and time again the naivete of such a statement.

quote:
Trust us! we are from the government!


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/13/2013 4:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
I never said it should be blind trust. If you don't trust government then at least trust the checks and balances to ensure government functions. If you don't trust those, build better checks and balances.


RE: Clown show
By Moishe on 6/14/2013 3:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
Socialism theoretically tries to guarantee that every person gets the same thing... but that's a pipe-dream and even the most foolish know is unattainable.

The result of socialism is that the government oppresses the people. They take from those who produce resources and gives them to the those who do not. Instead of lifting up those below, they bring down those above and everyone is forced to be "equal" on a lower level.

Producers lose the incentive to produce, so they are less productive. Slackers get more stuff for free, so there is less incentive to be productive. Everyone loses... except for those in power, which is a small group of elites.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 4:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
You are confusing socialism and communism. No worries, it happens a lot.


RE: Clown show
By flyingpants1 on 6/16/2013 4:37:29 AM , Rating: 2
You are both confusing socialism and communism with their depictions in western media, possibly The Simpsons.


RE: Clown show
By Reclaimer77 on 6/16/2013 6:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Being social works both ways. In a truly social society other people will also make sure you are treated fairly and that your rights are being respected. Again, this requires trust.


Well it's official: you're an idiot.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/17/2013 3:20:43 AM , Rating: 2
Name calling and not even an argument of why I'd be an idiot. By doing this you're invalidating everything you say here, every opinion you have. Love it when you do my job for me :). Very social of you ;)


RE: Clown show
By BZDTemp on 6/13/2013 7:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you zoom out and look at the EU as a whole there is massive distrust between countries.


Say what! That is simply not true. I urge you to backup that statement with some facts, because that simply isn't the case.

quote:
I still would never trade it for the socialist human zoos that dominate Europe.


Then maybe you should educate yourself on what is going on here. For starters do not equal Europe and EU because the first is a geographical term which includes a lot of non-EU members like fx. a good number of former Soviet states including a few dictatorships like Russia.

Now with that detail out of the way next you should look at how it is to live here. You'd be surprised at the freedom it brings being in a place where health care is ensured for all, where education for your children is often free(and maybe even comes with a universal student salary), where a working week is less than 40 hours and 5-6 weeks of yearly paid vacation is the norm. You'll even find that social mobility is much higher here.

Many things are great about the USA but that does not mean the EU is bad and in fact I thing unless you're very rich then you'll have a better life living in the EU. For instance go look up 'distribution of wealth USA' and you'll find some food for thought.


RE: Clown show
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2013 8:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
AHAHAHA!!!!!!!


RE: Clown show
By Ammohunt on 6/13/2013 9:57:38 PM , Rating: 2
I have lived in Europe and frankly you can have your cradle to the grave government. You had better figure out how to live with 100% taxes because you guys aren’t producing new tax payers fast enough to pay for all those great social programs you espouse. UK and Switzerland both are not part of the EU why is that? Overwhelming trust? Belgium couldn’t form a government because of the differences between French and Flemish speaking parts of the country. The list goes on.
quote:
Now with that detail out of the way next you should look at how it is to live here. You'd be surprised at the freedom it brings being in a place where health care is ensured for all, where education for your children is often free(and maybe even comes with a universal student salary)

Oh can you homeschool your kids? I can if I so chose.
quote:
where a working week is less than 40 hours and 5-6 weeks of yearly paid vacation is the norm. You'll even find that social mobility is much higher here.

America has the largest economy in the world why is that? Because we work 40 hours a week or more with 3-4 weeks paid vacation and earn our way. One reason unemployment is so much lower (even with the down economy) than in Europe where double digit unemployment is the norm.
quote:
Many things are great about the USA but that does not mean the EU is bad and in fact I thing unless you're very rich then you'll have a better life living in the EU. For instance go look up 'distribution of wealth USA' and you'll find some food for thought.

No offence but the last place I would live if I were very rich would be Europe since the wealthy on average pay close to 75% or more in taxes.
Most of the Euros I know including family have no clue what it means to be and American and live in the United States; They visit a major city and form their opinion. Where I live I can drive 30 minutes and be in place that shows no sign of human activity other than the road from horizon to horizon try to do that anywhere in Europe. The fact is Europe is not better than the United States it’s just different. That being said America is far from perfect but from the places I have visited and lived in including the middle east and Europe(Germany) there is nowhere better; don’t take my word for it ask 12 million Mexicans, hundreds of thousands Indians, Chinese etc.. That immigrate here legally and illegally.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 3:32:18 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You had better figure out how to live with 100% taxes because you guys aren’t producing new tax payers fast enough to pay for all those great social programs you espouse.

Agreed, this is and will be an issue. Either we have to cut down our programs, increase immigration to cover for it or fuck like bunnies. We do have extra free time on our hands...

quote:
Oh can you homeschool your kids? I can if I so chose.

Yes. Granted it will take some work getting people to sign off but it can be done. I would also like to add that our public schools are nowhere near as poor as the ones in the US (especially the major cities). In Germany for example you're not allowed to teach high school unless you have a university degree.

quote:
Belgium couldn’t form a government because of the differences between French and Flemish speaking parts of the country.

Funny, monocultures you said?

quote:
America has the largest economy in the world why is that?

Wrong. Europe has the largest if we go by GDP ($16.566 trillion). Americans come ahead when it comes to purchasing power parity though. But then again you do have huge income disparities. The poor need to work way more than 40 hours a week to make ends meet, so they pull up the average quite a bit. As long as these people still have the American dream it's all good and you won't see any revolts, but once that dream collapses... Also yes, Europe has debt and several European countries in particular, but it's nothing compared to US debt. US growth over the last decades has been funded primarily through debt. This is in part Europe's and China's fault though as we kept lending US the money.

quote:
No offence but the last place I would live if I were very rich would be Europe since the wealthy on average pay close to 75% or more in taxes.

Oh man... The richest people in the Netherlands pay about 50% I'd say. In France you'd be way worse off. This blanket statement does not hold as it's vastly different per country.

quote:
The fact is Europe is not better than the United States it’s just different.

Agreed.

quote:
That being said America is far from perfect but from the places I have visited and lived in including the middle east and Europe(Germany) there is nowhere better; don’t take my word for it ask 12 million Mexicans, hundreds of thousands Indians, Chinese etc.. That immigrate here legally and illegally.

All in the eye of the beholder. By the way, let's ask all the Africans who try to enter Europe? Geographical location might have something to do with the Mexicans going to the USA instead of Europe? And the Chinese are everywhere. You'll find millions in Europe as well and given the choice I doubt they'd leave (social securities, cheap education and what not).


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 7:46:45 AM , Rating: 1
lol
quote:
Wrong. Europe has the largest if we go by GDP ($16.566 trillion). Americans come ahead when it comes to purchasing power parity though.


wow. Let's compare one country to 20+ other countries combined. Too bad the US still have a GDP of 15+ trillion. Thanks for confirming the US is much better economically than any country in the EU.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 8:15:14 AM , Rating: 1
No, the US is different economically than any country in the EU. Also we were comparing Europe as a whole to the US, not any single country within Europe to the US.

FYI bigger is not always better.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 9:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, the US is different economically than any country in the EU.

Yes it is, it is much wealthier by multiples.
quote:
Also we were comparing Europe as a whole to the US, not any single country within Europe to the US.

No kidding, because you are retarded. You seem to compare the EU as a whole for economic power but pick certain countries for education. Lol you are as biased as anyone can get. It's so selective comparison.
Overall as a whole US is > EU. That is why EU is economically unstable and the US has suffered almost no inflation in the recent recession. Look at the the countries in your EU that fails at every aspect of a nation. Your EU even threaten to kick them out so they don't drag you down lol. Yet here you go preaching how the EU don't let the poor gets poorer and the rich gets richer.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 12:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm biased because I said USA and EU are no better than one another, they're just different? Yet here you go USA USA USA. It's fine man because the American dream needs to stay alive. Once people stop believing in that piece of fiction USA will collapse in on itself in a civil war, probably dragging the entire world with it. So I'll leave you to your delusions of grandeur. Of course I would pick certain examples from within the whole, to do a comparison for each and every single nation compared to the USA would take ages and to me you're not worth that much time educating.

Right now noone is being threatened to get kicked out. If anything everything is being done to keep countries in the EU/Euro. Need I remind you it was creative accounting by an American institution which started the Greek mess? Again I never said the EU was perfect, if anything I said something along the lines of it's a work in progress. But the sheer arrogance some Americans (you included) display is seriously hurting the position of the USA on the global theatre.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 7:57:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh man... The richest people in the Netherlands pay about 50% I'd say. In France you'd be way worse off. This blanket statement does not hold as it's vastly different per country.

So let's not look at a bunch of people but just one rich guy that can work the tax system to his advantage. Guess what? the US has a maximum of 39.6% tax rate if you make over 400k. But rich people don't have salary income like that. Profits on investments have a 20% flat tax last I checked. Most rich people end up paying 20% or less because they don't work for salary. that's a huge contrast to your best case scenario of 50%.

quote:
Yes. Granted it will take some work getting people to sign off but it can be done. I would also like to add that our public schools are nowhere near as poor as the ones in the US (especially the major cities). In Germany for example you're not allowed to teach high school unless you have a university degree.

What are you comparing to? I'll bet you haven't been to the US. Public schools depends on the taxes taken from the specific city/county. Some schools gets more funding than others. Our public school system relies on property tax and the lottery system. If anything, I'm willing to bet our public school system is better overall if you average out the entire EU vs the entire US.
Our biggest problem right now is the Charter school system causing a split in funds and teachers that are unqualified. Our country don't want to recognize that teachers should get paid more.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 8:24:12 AM , Rating: 2
Congrats. You have a system where people who already have money know how to hang on to it. I'd say this also underlies a lot of the problems the US is currently seeing. It has been said time and time again that a society is judged by the way it treats its weakest members. How will the USA ever maintain the moral high ground in the world and 'spread democracy and capitalism' if this is what 'democracy and capitalism' will lead to? A system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? I'm not saying I see it like that, but it's very easy for people such as Khamenei of Iran and Jong-un of North Korea to spin it like that without even breaking a sweat.

Regarding the school system I go by international rankings and things such as the percentage of the population that is literate etc etc. Reports written by people in the USA mind you.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 9:21:14 AM , Rating: 1
Because the US allows the poor to be rich and the rich to be poor. Everyone may not be born equally wealthy but everyone definitely have the opportunity to get wherever they want.

There are rich people who goes broke or poor people who gets rich here every day. You are basing your claims on generalizations and BS spin that makes no sense. Are you suggesting that everyone should in the middle class? Should everyone get paid the same? Let's just go back to communism then.

My family of 6 lived with a household income of under $15k in the 90s living in the slums of NY. We all worked hard, educated ourselves and now all making 6 figures. All it took was hard work and dedication. I joined the USMC while my sisters use their academic achievements to get scholarships and grants to pay through school. If it was possible for us then it's possible for everyone. None of us stole, cheat, took welfare, food stamps, etc... to get here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...
Here is the literacy rates for countries. It seems like the US is 99%. That's an excellent rating for a very large country with a low population density making it nearly impossible for the school systems to reach everyone.

Before you talk smack about another country, at least make sure what you say is valid.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 12:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're a big fan of picking single cases and generalizing them to the public. Congratulations that it worked for you. Surely now everyone should be able to earn 6 figures. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone would make 100s of 1000s of dollars? The whole system can only exist because it oppresses some, it's like a big pyramid scheme. Now I'm not for communism, not at all. But I do like a slightly more socialistic society where sure you can lose out, but never to the point where you need to fear for your continued existence. That's all. Please stop thinking so black & white, there's a middle area.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 1:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
Fortunately for people like me, there won't be everyone who is as dedicated or motivated. That is why there will never be an equal distribution of wealth. I don't believe another person who just show up to work and doesn't give a crap deserve to be paid like me.

Now you're going off the deep end to try and be right. Too bad you still fail and the EU still sucks except for a few select places.

In many countries in Europe, a doctor gets paid as much as a car mechanic. I guess we should have that in the US too huh?


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 2:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
See here's the difference between you and me. I'm not going to tell you the US should do anything. Choices have been made and are continued to be made each and every day. There are things the US could do different, there are things the EU could do different. Do I think either society is better off making some different decisions, sure. But thinking that and telling someone they should actually change their ways are two different things. Who am I to say someone should do something? That'd be mightily arrogant.

Also, please list the countries where doctors get paid as much as mechanics. Would like to see your source for that tidbit.


RE: Clown show
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/14/13, Rating: 0
RE: Clown show
By Ammohunt on 6/14/2013 2:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
For the record i did the same thing as you did. I went from nothing to near six figures only by working hard and applying myself and paying my dues in the ARMY. The real myth is the belief that the American dream is dead. Its a lie lazy, dope smokers that play video games all day tell themselves in order to feel good about their self imposed poverty.

I came from a slightly better off middle class family though, only because my father(grew up during the depression) and mother(grew up in Germany in the aftermath of WWII) worked hard and fully realized the American dream. My family and myself have never taken so much as a dime from any social welfare programs not even unemployment insurance.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/17/2013 9:32:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For the record i did the same thing as you did. I went from nothing to near six figures only by working hard and applying myself and paying my dues in the ARMY. The real myth is the belief that the American dream is dead. Its a lie lazy, dope smokers that play video games all day tell themselves in order to feel good about their self imposed poverty.


I may not disagree in many of your views but we're all entitled to our opinions with the right to vote. I have respect for people who endure the difficulty of life and EARN their living. The American Dream has never been dead, the people seem to forget what hard work is since we started moving the "sweatshop" jobs to China and other countries.

If I recall correctly, the American Dream is supposed to be a having a family with 2 kids, a dog/cat, house, steady job, 2 car garage in a clean picket fence suburb neighborhood.

I get the feeling people think the American Dream is all about riches, glamour, bling and obnoxiously these days.


RE: Clown show
By Ammohunt on 6/17/2013 1:00:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I may not disagree in many of your views but we're all entitled to our opinions with the right to vote.


I am a firm believer that it takes all types. just because i and other feel people are wrong it doesn't make them bad people by any measure.

Funny story one of my leftist friends; who is a Canadian citizen with a green card told me the "American dream was a crock!". So i thought well if its such a crock why are you here in the states realizing the American Dream(he has the American wife and family just as you described) and not back in Canada realizing the Canadian dream?(6 pack of Molsen and a pound of back bacon).

quote:
I get the feeling people think the American Dream is all about riches, glamour, bling and obnoxiously these days.


We can agree on that! people think if money doesn't fall out of the sky on them somehow its Americas fault.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/17/2013 2:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We can agree on that! people think if money doesn't fall out of the sky on them somehow its Americas fault.


lol but it's always raining money in rap videos.


RE: Clown show
By BZDTemp on 6/14/2013 3:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because the US allows the poor to be rich and the rich to be poor. Everyone may not be born equally wealthy but everyone definitely have the opportunity to get wherever they want.


I'm sorry but for most the American Dream will only ever stay a dream. Besides who says the rich aren't allowed to be rich it is just slightly less so than in the US and on the same time the number of poor people is much lower.

Social mobility is actually higher in the EU than in the US and that is hardly surprising if you think about it. After all the one main factor that allows people to move forward in life is education and in most of the EU education is free (which means students not having to rely on their parents and/or winning scholarships).

Don't be scared of higher tax rates because you could well find it meant getting more for your money. Try for instance to imagine two families and their economy. The one in Europe is paying high income taxes and taxes on energy, but they do not have to set money aside for their kids to go to college and they do not have to even consider loosing their health insurance a possibility. So when looking at what is left after paying fixed expenses those two families could well end up having a pretty similar economy and the family in Europe for sure does have more power as an employee than a similar family in the US simply because loosing ones job does not mean losing health insurance.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/15/2013 4:26:10 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm sorry but for most the American Dream will only ever stay a dream. Besides who says the rich aren't allowed to be rich it is just slightly less so than in the US and on the same time the number of poor people is much lower.

no shit, you can't get better by not pushing hard. People think they can just go to college and get a job. You are just mediocre doing that. Look at your competition and outdo them. It's that simple. Once you're on top, push yourself onto the next level. Eventually, you'll find yourself on top of the corporate ladder, a huge investor, or a successful multimillion dollar business owner. It's really that simple.


RE: Clown show
By DerMack on 6/14/2013 4:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Guess what? the US has a maximum of 39.6% tax rate if you make over 400k

FYI Monaco doesn't have income tax at all, too bad they only let very rich people to move in. Wouldn't want common rifraf to ruin their view...


RE: Clown show
By BZDTemp on 6/14/2013 4:09:02 AM , Rating: 2
Let's get a few things right for starters.

1. Overall taxes in EU are getting lowered not raised in the EU and that is even so here in the tax capital of the world (Denmark).
2. The UK is part of EU.
3. As for the government in Belgium well sure they had some difficulties but compared to how the blue and reds sabotage proceedings in Washington that is nothing.
4. I wasn't referring to homeschooling. I was referring to the fact that here anyone over 18 that is studying gets around $1000 a month to pay the living costs AND this in on top of education being free (regardless if you're going to university, training to be a doctor or what else you desire).
5. About where to be rich you should re-read what I wrote. I did not say EU is the place to be rich. Oh, and did you read about the distribution of wealth as I suggested?

Also you forgot to comment on social mobility :-)


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/15/2013 4:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wasn't referring to homeschooling. I was referring to the fact that here anyone over 18 that is studying gets around $1000 a month to pay the living costs AND this in on top of education being free (regardless if you're going to university, training to be a doctor or what else you desire). 5. About where to be rich you should re-read what I wrote. I did not say EU is the place to be rich. Oh, and did you read about the distribution of wealth as I suggested?


This part alone should tell anyone that the EU is much more controlled by the government. The US allows more freedom.

Both form of government has its pros and cons. The US allows people to fall further but also allow them to climb higher. I personally prefer the US because I want to set my limits, not the government.


RE: Clown show
By TSS on 6/14/2013 11:15:42 AM , Rating: 2
Lol. Having culture does not equal being a socialist zoo. You'd know that if you could recognise your own. Instead you claim greatness through those very cultures you dislike.

That's what us europians know modern day american culture. Greed. Ignorance. Drama. And ofcourse, Obesity. None of those can be found in any of the europian cultures here (on that last one, we do have fat people. But look closely: EU fat people have a really fat belly. US fat people are fat all over. That, and actually liking it, is uniquely american).

Even us dutch aren't concirned as much by the profit motive as you americans are. In fact, as a dutch person, i am disgusted by how you americans give up all value just to get a higher profit. It's incredibly short term thinking, which leads back to the ignorance. No europian country is that stupid, not even the belgians (for those who know anything about europian culture, that's saying something).

No, i think i'll happily take my ~11% higher taxation (US 29% total taxation, holland 41%) over Detroit any day of the week.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 11:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even us dutch aren't concirned as much by the profit motive as you americans are. In fact, as a dutch person, i am disgusted by how you americans give up all value just to get a higher profit. It's incredibly short term thinking, which leads back to the ignorance. No europian country is that stupid, not even the belgians (for those who know anything about europian culture, that's saying something).


Really? I wouldn't call the US a short term economy. The way our Federal Reserve system works is copied by most other countries of the world because it stimulates and multiply economic growth. Our economic dominance is alive today and in the past. I don't recall the dutch ever had such an illustrious history in economy. Mind you Our country is founded in 1776 making it one of the youngest countries around.

I know plenty about Europian culture and history. It's filled with war based on religion, clash of royalties, and egos.

I don't understand how you could say Europe doesn't have a profit seeking motive. Businesses around the globe has profit seeking motives. That's actually their goal and the whole point of starting a business. If you start a business with no motive to make profits then you failed before you started.

Your arguments breaks down as soon as we look at Greece and especially Italy.

quote:
No, i think i'll happily take my ~11% higher taxation (US 29% total taxation, holland 41%) over Detroit any day of the week.

First of all, that's 12% and nobody needs a calculator to figure that out. Second, you just compared Holland(a country) to Detroit(a city). You also picked a city in a tough situation and compared it to a country in good standing. Let's look at Greece and compare it to Detroit. Or let's look at Arlington, VA and compare it to Greece and see how stupid your statements are.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 1:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
Holland are actually two provinces (out of 12) combined within the country of the Netherlands:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE_IUPInEuc

Also you should look up the Dutch Golden Age and how we founded silly little cities such as New York (then called Nieuw Amsterdam) before you blast our economic prowess. This is where I get chauvinistic sure, but we are and have always proven to be a nation of traders. The Dutch are responsible for a whole lot of economic 'inventions' or ideas.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 1:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
And why did every single European country and the british empire lost all their colonies?

the dutch golden age lasted 80 years for which it wasn't #1. I'm willing to bet the US will be #1 for much longer than your lackluster 80 years.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 2:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
Because every empire has its rise & fall. Talk about having to learn from history. US #1, fine. So as a country you have the biggest economy. Enjoy it for a few more years when the Chinese overtake you. Also: http://www.happyplanetindex.org/data/

Also, speaking of the Chinese, looking at powerbase the Chinese had the upper hand for thousands and thousands of years. The 'West' only dominated the world stage for a few centuries, but the Chinese are making their comeback. 'The New Asian Hemisphere' is a brilliant and objective book regarding the subject. If you are at all interested in geopolitics it's highly suggested reading.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
So now that you can't prove your golden dutch age is so great, you use the chinese?

The chinese won't catch up anytime soon.
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/china/indicators

Learn to read data first. I won't even bother to explain anything to you since you're so ignorant.

If China catches up, it won't be any time soon. They will face the retirement age of their population boom before that. Which is always a huge problem for the developed nation like US and Japan.

What's next retard? You're going to claim Switzerland has higher per capita so therefore it is better?


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 3:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well at the very least I haven't had to resort to name calling yet. The Dutch golden age is one of the reasons the USA even exists in its current form. So yeah I'd say it was great.

Dude, you're the one claiming USA is the best country in the world purely because of the size of its economy. Talk about using a random indicator out of context.


RE: Clown show
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 3:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
Or you're spewing BS about how the EU is better is I am disproving you. And when you realize you don't have anything else, you resort to pulling the China card.

quote:
Dude, you're the one claiming USA is the best country in the world purely because of the size of its economy. Talk about using a random indicator out of context.

really? economic power is a random indicator?
i guess having more economic power can't afford us better things.


RE: Clown show
By Nephiorim on 6/14/2013 3:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
We can both find indicators where one country is higher on a ranking than the other. This is why you cannot blatantly say one country is better than the other. It just means the priorities are different. You're really conforming to the stereotypical view Europeans have of Americans, namely being only focused on money money money. Money does not equal happiness.

Also to state that the size of an economy equals economic power is just plain wrong. Economic power consists of way more factors. Tell me, what percentage of Americans actually have access to better things? In practice, not in theory.


RE: Clown show
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/14/2013 9:41:17 PM , Rating: 2
You are feeding it, he is trying to drag you down to his level of stupid, quit feeding...


RE: Clown show
By Reclaimer77 on 6/15/2013 2:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
Meah I don't know, I kind of have to go with BRB29 on this one. Europe is just a disaster on so many levels, claiming otherwise is nonsense.

Even with Obama doing everything to ruin America, it's still the best place to live. That's a pretty sad statement on the rest of the world.


"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki