Hidden Nook

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

European Woes

[Media Source*]

(Hat Tip: Retrophisch, Glenn Reynolds, The Black Kettle)

(Cross Posted at Blogger News)

An interesting article came across the NY Times depicting a very sorry picture of the European Union.

Contrasting "the American dream" with "the European daydream," Mr. Norberg described the difference: "Economic growth in the last 25 years has been 3 percent per annum in the U.S., compared to 2.2 percent in the E.U. That means that the American economy has almost doubled, whereas the E.U. economy has grown by slightly more than half. The purchasing power in the U.S. is $36,100 per capita, and in the E.U. $26,000 - and the gap is constantly widening."

Ironically the "pinnacle of the west" is sadly one of the worst examples. As the crowning example as why Socialism does not work in a society, Europe is constantly proving to America (and those in it with common sense) why government moderation of a capitalistic society is bad. The case becomes even worse when one takes the EU and compares it to all 50 states of America. If the EU was a state of America, it would rank fifth from the bottom, just ahead of Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi.

In Oslo alone their seems to be a lack of "public care" as the outdated libraries and swimming pools give testament to the "inspiration" of the once mighty continent. Glenn Reynolds gives feedback on what he sees as the main problem of Europe today.

It's almost as if high taxes, heavy regulation, and an extensive dole sap people's desire to work hard, making the society as a whole worse off so that those policies don't just redistribute wealth, but actually destroy it. That's probably because they do, and have done so everywhere they're tried. People are usually pointing to some socialist paradise or other where life is wonderful, but -- not to put too fine a point on it -- those places are basically a lie. Socialism just doesn't work, anywhere, for very long. You'd think people would learn.

The sad part is that on top of these economic issues it seems that Europe's population is slowly shrinking in size.

The replacement level to keep a population intact is 2.1 babies: One baby to replace a father, one to replace a mother, and the 0.1 because some children die before they reach adulthood, and some adults don't have any children at all.

In Western Europe today the birthrate is 1.5, some 30% below replacement level. Meyer notes if this continues when his college age children reach his age there will be 70-80 million fewer 'Europeans' than there are now.

"Three H-bombs and a plague couldn't accomplish that." [Herb Meyer]

The current trend does not fare too well for Europe (although Japan is probably in a worse position while America is at a "turning point") and if this trend continues Europe will have to import even more foreigners, many who despise their way of life. A European collapse is something that would not benefit the world, and hopefully their is some "light" in the political realm across the ocean that may be able to steer Europe away from this tragedy (cough, Tony Blair) before it is too late.

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By Darnell Clayton • 10:15 PM • Email Post • •


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