Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Europe Learns the Wrong Lessons

The American Enterprise has its newest magazine out. Concentrating on the Europe/America rift, it makes fascinating reading.

The lead editiorial explains the history and motivations of anti-Americanism, as well as noting that it is largely independant of Bush being president (can you say jealousy?). It also discusses European economic failings.
Some considerable part of today’s European hostility toward the U.S. is born of frustration over their own failures, and jealousy of American success. This is especially clear in the realm of economics, where Europe has been drooping for two decades now. Europe’s economic malaise is producing many bad social effects quite apart from increased resentment toward the U.S.— so we would like to see it become a central plank of American foreign policy to encourage reforms that could pull the continent out of its financial funk.

Europe’s economic trauma can be seen most clearly in Germany, which has performed miserably since edging away from the American free-market model and toward the French socialized-market alternative. Unemployment in Germany has reached the potentially destabilizing level of 12 percent. More shockingly, about a third of those unemployed have been jobless for more than a year. This is not some recessionary blip; over the last decade and a half, economic growth in Germany has averaged only a little over 1 percent. This miserable performance has allowed the people of other nations to pass the Germans in standard of living.

As Europe’s locomotive runs out of fuel, the whole train slows. French unemployment rates are nearly as high as in Germany. Across the 15 nations of the European Union, the proportion of the jobless who have been unemployed for more than a year now exceeds 40 percent.
The issue has other free articles worth reading. Saw it on Powerline.