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Europe refuses to address the root causes of its unending crisis.
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As several EU studies demonstrate, steady majorities in most West European countries express a decided preference for security (be it through attaining a public-sector job, voting for munificent social security systems, or supporting massive wealth transfers within and between EU countries) over allowing more scope for economic freedom. The same analyses illustrate that West Europeans are more willing than Americans and Chinese to trade off economic dynamism in order to have lower wealth disparities.
If that’s what most contemporary Europeans want, then so be it. But if leadership occasionally involves telling people hard truths, Europe’s politicians should inform their constituencies that the economic policies flowing from such preferences have contributed mightily to the eurozone’s contemporary disarray. Once again, their silence on this matter is deafening.
Europe’s leaders are hardly alone in avoiding meaningful discussion of their countries’ deeper economic troubles. Even now, some American politicians simply won’t admit the need for major entitlement reform. It’s near-impossible to find Chinese officials prepared to confess that China’s one-child policy is turning out to be an economic and moral-cultural disaster.
Nevertheless, it’s striking how a crisis that’s presently leading to ruinously high youth-unemployment, the disintegration of governments, and threatening the euro’s implosion hasn’t produced any profound rethinking of economic policy by most European politicians. It’s as if they’re convinced Europe can somehow hang on through a combination of financial chimeras, minor adjustments to retirement ages, temporary spending cuts, and, above all, centralizing more power in Brussels in the name of “European economic governance.”
Such wishful thinking may turn out to be the greatest European delusion of them all.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online