Globalization is not the driving force behind the struggles of socialist governments in Europe.  The problem with these nations is that their social safety nets, the system of benefits and assistance assured to citizens by their governments, have grown larger than their tax levels can support.  The reason that European socialist states are finding it difficult to maintain cradle to grave benefits is the same reason that this type of welfare state has not developed in the US: its just too expensive.  The reality is that taking care of people costs a lot of money.  If these people are not able to pay for themselves, they sure aren't contributing towards paying for others.  This creates a drain on government funds which can only be plugged by increasing taxes.  The unfortunate side effect of higher taxes is that the people have less money to spend on taking care of themselves.  This leads to higher government spending on taking care of them.  The spiral continues from there.  Socialism is a great theoretical idea.  In practice, it is extremely difficult to maintain.  Socialism is not a victim of globalization, its failure is the result of the seemingly permanent existence of the proverbial haves and have-nots.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
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Kosovo land swap could end conflict – or restart war

Best case: Redrawing borders leads to peace, prosperity and EU membership. But there's also a worst case.

Image: SRF
Strange Maps
  • The Yugoslav Wars started in 1991, but never really ended.
  • Kosovo and Serbia are still enemies, and they're getting worse.
  • A proposed land swap could create peace – or reignite the conflict.
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Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.