Sunday, June 05, 2005

The European Disease

An excellent analysis from the Wall Street Journal regarding the socialist decline of Europe, Mongo Emphasis in OpinionJournal - Featured Article:
"The Europeans have created a vast constellation of domestic policy interventions that are cloaked in the seductive rhetoric of compassion, fairness and cultural sophistication.

These policies include highly generous welfare benefits for the unemployed;
state ownership and subsidy of key industries (such as Airbus);
rules that make it difficult to hire and fire workers;
prohibitions against closing down plants;
heavy protections of labor unions against competitive forces;
mandatory worker benefit packages that include health insurance, child care allowances, paid parental leave, four to six weeks of vacation;
shortened work weeks;
and, alas, high taxes on business and labor to pay for these lavish benefits.
The socialist nanny state.

In sum, European nations penalize work and subsidize non-work, and, no surprise, they have gotten a lot of the latter and far too little of the former. By contrast, the U.S. model--allegedly cruel and 'laissez-faire'--has done much better both by economic growth and worker opportunity.
Yes, we are right, they are wrong. There is no other way of putting it. I've seen a quote on a left wing blog that "capitalism works best with a bit of socialism thrown in." I can't disagree with that, but when the nanny staters take over, such as in Europe, we see, and have seen the results.
The frustrating irony is that, at the very moment in history when Europe's model is in disrepute, many U.S. politicians still want to emulate it. In Congress today there is some bill to provide virtually every social welfare benefit that Europe now offers. And the Congressional Budget Office predicts that if America's federal entitlement programs are not reined in, by 2030 government's share of the U.S. economy will close in on 50% of GDP, or even more than Europe's share today. The good news is that at least Washington has begun to debate how to reform these programs. "
And the Republicans have to take the lead. The Democrats are in such disarray, when they accuse the Republicans of "starving children" and so forth, the Reps should just say, "yes, I'm for that", and let the public see how pathetic the Democrats and their SMSM syncophants are.


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