The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

U.S. Workers behind European Workers

Jun 8, 2009

In most Western European counties, the state replaces on average 60% to 80% of a laid off worker’s lost salary. In the United States, it’s just over half. European unemployment benefits also tend to last longer. In Belgium, for example, jobless benefits have no time limit at all. In Denmark, the state replaces up to 90% of lost wages and invests more than 4% of GDP every year in supporting and retraining the jobless. On the other hand, the U.S., before the current crisis, spent about 0.4% of GDP on retraining and benefits.

Are European workers getting all this because Europe has accumulated more wealth than the United States? Obviously not. But it does show how barbaric this country is that it does not do what it could absolutely afford to do.