Italian economy in perspective

In the post below, Zach pointed out

though I think Italy offers all that you say it does, it also offers a healthy bit of discrimination, as well as second-class citizenship (e.g. limited political say and unequal access to jobs and other pieces of the economic pie). In other words, it isn’t as if Italian arms are wide open: they are, however, pretty damn open.

I want to make a few points about why that economic pie isn’t totally available to recent immigrants (or to most Italians, for that matter)
All the following figures are from the World Bank’s excellent annual report, Doing Business
Italy
Starting a Business
number of procedures: 9
time (days): 13
percent of income (per capita): 10
Obtaining Licenses
time (days): 284
Taxes
Tax rate (%): 76

Compare that to the United States.
Starting a Business
number of procedures to start a business: 5
time (days): 5
percent of income to start a business (per capita): 0
Obtaining Licenses
time (days): 69
Taxes
Tax rate: 46

In an economy like Italy’s with such an onerous bureaucracy, immigrants (overwhelmingly from poor countries like Tunisia, Morrocco, Albania) just don’t stand much of a chance.

This is not to make some silly claim about how poverty breeds hate, because after all, immigrants do eventually become properly Italian and prosper (in relative terms). This is simply for edification purposes.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Italian economy in perspective

  1. Ciao Aria!

    This comment is under the latest post, but only because I think you’ll see it here. I just read all of your entries and am greatly amused. (followed you here from Ace, by way of full disclosure).

    I’m an American who has been an ex-pat (mostly Germany), and through some very convoluted autobiography have ended up with an Italian girlfriend who lives in Italy. (I do not).

    So, two things. (1) I’d love to trade e-mails with you, you should have mine. (2) If you haven’t yet, you absolutely must read Tobias Jones’ “Dark Heart of Italy”, if for no other reason than to explain your post office experiences. He’s a Brit living in Italy. You’ll bond.

    a piu tardi,

    Michael

  2. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Morality

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