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Just a question, something that is not clear from your charts (and I'm not completely familiar with the definitions in the underlying source). Do the data include provincial (in Canada) and state (in the US) tax revenues and expenditures, or is this just for the nation as a whole? (Secondarily, would this make any difference?)

The OECD's "General government current tax and non-tax receipts" refers to both local and federal direct taxes including social security payments. This isn't OECD data though.

I'd be a little more concerned about the role of oil revenues for a low-population state.

The Federal Fiscal Reference Tables list the OECD as the data source and it is "general government".

You know, if you were only looking at those numbers, you'd think that the next Euro-zone country to spook the bond market would be would be France, not Italy. While the latter has reduced spending and increased revenue over the past two decades, the former has seen signficant increases on both counts - and shows no obvious appetite for reducing spending. Obviously there's more to it than that (although I'd be suprised if France's GDP growth rates or demographics are sharply different from Italy's), still...

I think David and Bob have good points.

The main distinquisher of Canada in the G-7 is, that it is the only commodity country, specifically oil &gas. And in contrast to Australia, Norway, New Zealand, Canadian debt / GDP is with 80% very high, after soo many so good years. And with 75% of exports going to just one single customer, the US, Canada is very vulnerable. Be very beware of the commodity curse, the dutch disease !

Cut the price of oil, gas, lumber to the levels of 2005, where would Canada be?
Just two years away from lining up for IMF loans.

Italy has introduced a number of significant, long term reforms. France is still in a state of complete denial. I think you are good with the possible role reversal projection.

German FM Schäuble is positive about Italy, Italian FM Grilli presented
his achievements and plans at CESifo Munich / Prof Sinn / Verein für Socialpolitik, positively.

German von der Leyen and her Italian colleaque Elsa Fornero http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVRJ18oHsa8 are working on apprenticeship schemes in Italy, possibly cross border, and together with the unions.

Following up a little bit on Elsa, sancta, I run across this:


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