Off Topic Messages

Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:19 pm

The PER CAPITA part is the Ant vs Human argument I made earlier. Did this not get through?

Here is something alot more relevant.

Rank Country GDP (Billion $)
1 United States 10,980
2 China 6,449
3 Japan 3,567
4 India 3,022
5 Germany 2,271
6 United Kingdom 1,664
7 France 1,654
8 Italy 1,552
9 Brazil 1,379

or this GDP rank

1 World $ 55,500,000,000,000 2004 est.
2 United States $ 11,750,000,000,000 2004 est.
3 European Union $ 11,650,000,000,000 2004 est.
4 China $ 7,262,000,000,000 2004 est.
5 Japan $ 3,745,000,000,000 2004 est.
6 India $ 3,319,000,000,000 2004 est.
7 Germany $ 2,362,000,000,000 2004 est.
8 United Kingdom $ 1,782,000,000,000 2004 est.
9 France $ 1,737,000,000,000 2004 est.
10 Italy $ 1,609,000,000,000 2004 est.

Now shall I move on to the Gross National Product totals? Here is a hint, the number is even more uneven.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:20 pm


Per capita is the only way you can compare these things. It does not make sense otherwise.

Surely the US is the most powerful country in the world. There's no doubt about it and this has to do with its pretty high population.

But that's not the topic of this thread. This is about the living standards of each individual citizen.

You surely wouldn't tell me that people are better off in China than in Japan or better off in India than in Germany, would you?

Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:33 pm

If people wanna screw around with averages...then yes...the United States is still a great place to live on average, as the per capita shows. :lol:

BUT this is not how I base wealth. I base it on the chance to become better then the average. Where do you have the most opportunity?

I don't care how hard you try, you simply are not going to find that level of fortune I speak of in Norway.

The high population of the U.S.A. is oversimpifying its prosperity. We not only produce the most but we gave the most to the world economy. Our country is well below many in the unemployed...we are the one of the highest when it comes to owning product...straight purchasing power to ensure our future like in the case of our millitary..etc.

Like I said before, you are comparing apples and oranges. Norway may have on AVERAGE a higher standard of living..but so what??? I don't measure my wealth with the outliers that can bring an average down.

Look lets put it in Elvis terms. If you were to measure Elvis high points compared with the number of crappy material, you wouldn't get a real description of his career output. The facts are that Elvis is number one because of his outstanding achievements in spite of his vast number of output.

I am sure if you were to compare a lesser act at a small snapshot of their career they may have a higher average as well, but this is hardly indicative of the trend.

And lets face it, no matter how you slice it, people just are not living better in Norway then the United States. I can get in my car and drive to from end to end in a drop of a hat and do it much cheaper. There are so many luxories that are never reported. I don't need much money to have these things. Being "poor" in the United States is simply not comparable.

So yes, when I compare stats, I compare real world figures based on total output, and not just comparing it with size etc. When you look at statistics you have to look at the big picture. The U.S.A. comes out in the top five no matter the way you look at it. That is the true measure.

Though I am curious about one thing Torben...where would the world be without the U.S.A purchasing? Would Norway be as "wealthy" without American consumers sustaining the world economy? This cannot be ignored. Looking at final results simply does not tell the whole story.

Do you honestly think that Norway has any effect on the U.S.A. economy? What do you think would matter most..the absence of the Norway in one day or the absence of the U.S.A.? hmmmm
Last edited by genesim on Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:43 pm


Well, this is not comparing apples to oranges. It's comparing one apple tree with hundreds of apples and one tree with dozens of apples. And you're going to chose from which tree you would like your apple.

you wrote:The U.S.A. comes out in the top five no matter the way you look at it.

Yes, there's no question that the US is always in the most upper range of these lists. It is a very good place to live and I'm sure if it was broken down to its states, each featuring individually in the lists, some of these might beat Norway or Ireland on their own with others falling farther down the list.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:48 pm

Hey that is an excellent point Torben. Maybe one should compare a equal population to Norway. I wonder if I should bother on that one.

Although it doesn't matter. There really isn't a contest.

To base a countries wealth on standard of living alone would be just too simple thinking.

But like I said, go ahead and keep thinking it if you wish. Me I would think that a country that makes up almost half the economy of the world(perhaps more) is quite a bit more important then an isolated statistic.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:57 pm


you wrote:a country that makes up almost half the economy of the world(perhaps more)

I really don't get what you're saying here.

Did you not read the facts you posted at the top of this page? :shock:

Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:02 pm

I remember somone making this argument when comparing Steve Young early in his career vs Dan Marino.

Funny how many things were stats when coming off the bench after a team is winning. Having better recievers, having a shorter career at that time...etc.

The facts are that the more population you have, the more chances you have for outliers. This cannot be seen from a smaller population in near the same capacity.

As far as my doesn't stop there. GNP is also a determination.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:11 pm


The difference between GNP and GDP is not that big. For our discussion one of them is sufficient.

The US still holds a good 20% of the world economy. The European Union has about the same percentage, but achieves this only with a slightly larger population.

I'm sure (also while looking at the list from Maurice's post) that if you compare these two entities the US gets the better ranking.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:23 pm

No I would disagree. The comparison is not valid. China doesn't rank near as well when you consider what it consumes. The ratio when comparing GNP goes from 2:1 to a 3:1 with our nearest competitor. Whitch makes the United States standing for 1/3.

Its logic..China sends far more out, then they consume. Not so with the U.S.A. It isn't that we can't be self serving...we just choose not to be because of cheap labor.

If you look at the list, there are several countries that fall quite a bit in the ranking.

But statistics are only part of the story. It still doesn't give a summation of a countries real worth..only an indicator. Comparing the 10 billion in GDP to 6 billion doesn't tell the whole story. If the U.S.A. had to rely on itself, there would be quite a shift. We haven't even tapped into our resources as you well know. It isn't what we produce is what we are CAPABLE of producing, and the future of which we will determine.

Our worth is based on how important we are to the world economy.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:32 pm


As for the GNP vs. GDP numbers, differences really aren't that big. If the numbers you have are that different, they are probably not from the same year. From what you wrote ("consumption") I'm also not sure if you have the right understanding of what's the difference between GDP and GNP.

As far as unrealized capabilities I think China has much more than the US.

I'll make a weighted score from the numbers Maurice provided for the EU-15 later this day. I have all the data available. I'm sure you will feel much better then. :D

Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:41 pm

Torben wrote:genesim

Per capita is the only way you can compare these things. It does not make sense otherwise.

Surely the US is the most powerful country in the world. There's no doubt about it and this has to do with its pretty high population.

But that's not the topic of this thread. This is about the living standards of each individual citizen.

You surely wouldn't tell me that people are better off in China than in Japan or better off in India than in Germany, would you?

Precisely, Torben!

Genesim: Do you know how many people lives in Norway? Not that many, true, but we manage to get by extremely well, thank you...

And how about the amount of poor people living below the so called welfare limit in the USA? How many millions? How many people are out of a job? How many people can't even spell their names, not to mention have a realistic opportunity to go to school during their lifetime? Quite a few, I guess...

How about the general situation in USA regarding education, job, health care and so on?

I can tell you that there's no way that I would have preferred living in USA instead of Norway.

When analyzing numbers from each country in "competitions" like this, one should also compare percentages of the population living on the right side vs living on the wrong side (considered poor), health care, job perspectives and so on - on average basis!

Like mentioned by Torben: There's no way that f.ex China or India should have status better standard than f.ex Germany, France, Switzerland or other down-the-middle-European countries!

The reason why China and India are way up there on your list, is simply because of the huge amount of citizens!

And there's also one thing we haven't mentioned here.

How about debt?
How many billions of dollars does the USA have in red numbers in their budget? :wink:

It isn't just rose colored glasses mentality here in Norway, I can tell you.
We have our mountains to climb as well, especially considering the boom soon to come; the elders!

Norway have built up a huge oil fund, after years and years of good money from the oil reserves, but some day the oil will decrease.

More and more people depending on the benefits from this fund, will have to consider ways of ensuring their pensions from not only the government...


ps Genesim: You should definately go on a European trip! You won't regret it, man! :wink:

Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:49 pm

National vs Domestic? I don't think I have this wrong. Though I admit I got a headache from all this number crap.

I agree that China is going to be a much bigger factor in the future. People are power...especially if oppression is lifted.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:15 pm

Kristian Hjelmaas,

Do you know how many people lives in Norway? Not that many, true, but we manage to get by extremely well, thank you...

As if that means nothing. Lets see you grow in size and then see how the "averages" deal out.

People don't spell their name in the USA cause they don't need to. As sad as that is, the country is prosperous despite it.

Actually when you talk unemployment United States is far from the worst. Again, look at the sheer number of people that we house. That said, just how many wealthy people are there in Norway? What exactly is your cost of living?

Education is fine for our needs. I myself came from nothing and worked my way up as many people I know have. Still there is a market for the uneducated that choose blue collar work. This isn't necessarily bad, because there are many jobs that simply don't need it. So when measuring against the U.S. it really is irrelevant. When you don't have much industry then it stands to reason you would need a better education to survive.

Hmm you want to talk about debt, well how many countries have never paid us back after we have sunk money into their economies? When was the last time that Norway rebuilt a civilization from the ground up? Better yet, when was the last time that Norway lent any kind of real protection?

Lets talk about how much you are taxed for your "privledges". What choice do you have with your healthcare? I myself do not believe in government intervention and that is something that Europeans will never get. I enjoy my freedom to pay for the healthcare I prefer and believe in free markets rather then subsidized limited choices.

I could go on and on, but the one glaring fact is that most of Norway's success comes in no small part with the help of the U.S.A. economy.

You pick Norway over the U.S.A....that is your problem not mine. No matter how many times you try to sell it to me, I simply have no interest in even visiting. Your country is far down the line when I list out priorities. I would put it somewhere near the bottom. There are too many other places to see and much more elightening. Life is short...too short for mediocre.

I believe in logevity. Lets see where Norway is in say..10 years. :wink:

Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:25 pm


OK, as promised here's the list with the EU-15 states united as one entry. I used the scores from the link Maurice provided and population data from the CIA world factbook (July 2005 estimate) to get a weighted score.

1) 8.07 Switzerland
2) 8.05 Norway
3) 7.93 Australia
4) 7.91 Iceland
5) 7.72 Singapore
6) 7.62 US
7) 7.60 Canada
8) 7.44 New Zealand
9) 7.39 Japan
10) 7.35 Hong Kong
11) 7.31 EU-15

Well, the US did help us in western Europe enormously after WWII. There's no doubt about it, and we are very thankful for that. But does that have anything to do with where's the best place to live now?

Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:38 pm

genesim, how can picking Norway over USA be any problem at all...??? :?

Sincerely MB280E

Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:40 pm

Actually Torben I was referring to the "debt" that we had. I figured if Kristian wanted to go off topic, I would at least set him back on course.

I appreciate the ranking, but as I said before, there are many factors not even considered. I am sure if you added up the percentage that is would come up with a higher number too. Doesn't mean a thing when you calcualte a standard of living.

You see, I myself value a nice roadtrip to wherever I want to go in my country. How is that possible with Norway's gas prices and lack of suitable geography?

Being happy is a state of mind. We have all had our ups and downs( :wink: ), but there is a true measure of a countries worth.

Where will Norway be in X number of years? Is their prosperity limited?? How secure are you really in the grand scheme of things?
Last edited by genesim on Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:42 pm

MB280E wrote:genesim, how can picking Norway over USA be any problem at all...??? :?

Sincerely MB280E

The problem is when people try to come on a messageboard and convince me. I couldn't care less other then this being yet another opportunity to trash the U.S.A. Even if it were true...who the f*ck cares?

I personally do not believe this to be so, and the numbers show it. But be that as it may, I am happy in my country, and I don't feel the need to go around promoting it to other citizens of said country.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:52 pm

Well, if you don´t give a sh*t do it anywhere but here, please!

Sincerely MB280E

Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:56 pm

Did I start this stupid thread? Am I the one that continually tries to find a reason to support the U.S.A. being bettered?

Am I the one that continually bashes the leaders of X country?

Buddy, like the hurricane disaster, the blame is being pointed at the wrong guy. I am merely responding to this crap behavior, because I find it insulting..and more ever gravely WRONG!

Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:08 pm

Have I insultet you?? It´s not me that on numerous occations have labeled everyone else´s opinions and views as crap, sh*t, insulting and propaganda is it...??

Sincerely MB280E

Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:17 pm

First of all the "propaganda" was actually a reflection of the media brainwashing, so no that wasn't directly in regard to anyone.

But yeah, you have insulted me on this very thread, and I never said anything directly to you at all, so I don't know why you are here anyway?

I label the opinions as "crap" and "sh*t" because they are. People on this board will stop at nothing to trash our president. Lets get over the fact that some people may find this to be true. Airing this stuff on a daily basis is hard to stomach anyway. I myself at least have the decency to not even name Prime Ministers or Presidents...let alone act like complete animals when it comes to putting down our leader.

Funny how people target me, when I myself have not acted this way. Any kind of criticism was labeled directly at those that feel the need to put down the country that I feel has been very good to me.

Most of the time I would rather talk about movies, not this day in and day out crapping all over our president.

If you got venom M280E, how about putting it in the right direction. Funny how you overlook the crap that has been said to me PERSONALLY.

Contrary to what you might believe, saying an opinion is crap and sh*t is not quite the same as namecalling and cussing out (and I mean personally and not just using it in a sentence) that prominent members have done on a daily basis.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:21 pm


Right, I missed the point regarding debts.

The list already includes several criteria, not just income per capita as is still the standard in most of these rankings. You're right, of course, that many factors are not considered, but you can't include them all. That does not make these lists useless. They certainly have more value than just saying "country A is better than country B because I can ...", especially if the person saying that has little knowledge of country B.

Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:24 pm

Best place to live in 2005 and we get told on here with just 4 months of 2005 left ?

Not much time to capitalise on this info :lol: :lol: :lol:

Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:41 pm

Torben we really don't disagree.

Most on here talk with very little understanding of Country B. The difference is that I don't pretend to know. I am only quoting facts and assess from evidence. It really is dependent on perspective.

You could watch the news all day and still not get the beauty of which is the United States, just like I am sure it is the other way around. Though jealousy does seem to be an issue. The constant comparison doesn't prove anything..but it sure does seem to be an indication.

Countries I would like to visit if I absolutely had the need in no particular order:


Any of those is more then enough for my lifetime there is still more of the U.S.A. that I would take over all of them!

Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:54 pm


I agree, there is much we agree on. There it is again. :D

I guess that many here have already visited the US and liked it. I know I did. I also think that there is a pretty good knowledge about the US the world over. Because for many people it's first their own country and then the US they know most about. Of course, you in the US know your own country the best.

If you ever come to Germany pay me a visit, would you? I understand that you just can't visit every country that there is. And there's also so many great places in the US. But don't dismiss Norway too quickly. As you know, it's probably the best place to live, but it's also a great country to visit. Believe me.