Thursday, July 10, 2003

Europe - What a drag it is gettin' old...

Christian D. de Fouloy has a brilliant article in TCS Europe today about the growing division between the United States and "Old Europe" - Kissing Cousins No More.

Here's a sample:

It isn't just differing policies that are splitting the EU from the U.S. It is also sheer competition. The very idea of forming a United States of Europe comes in large measure to keep up with America. Today, much of the psychological drive for Euro-nationalism is provided by anti-Americanism. The view of many European leaders is that whatever diminishes the stature of the U.S. is of benefit to Europe. Europe is not begging to differ in particulars but beginning to diverge in fundamentals.

Conventionally, we have thought of Europeans as having about the same standard of living as Americans. This is less and less true. For the EU as a whole, GDP per capita is presently less than two-thirds of U.S. levels. America's poorest sub-groups now have higher average income levels than the typical European.

What's behind this? For one thing, Americans work harder. Some 72 percent of the U.S. population is at work compared to only 58 percent in the EU. And U.S. workers are more productive: An EU worker currently produces 73 cents worth of output for every dollar produced by an American.

The new EU Constitution currently has about 40,000 words and goes on and on about what rights the government "gives" to it's citizens (and animals and presumably trees...). The US Constitution has 4,000 words and builds on Lockian philosophy of the Declaration of Independence. Citizens are born with rights and the government's function is to protect those citizens so that they can exercise them.

Good luck, old friend. Whine and try to regulate the world into your proscribed, bureaucratic reality. We will sit back and watch with amusement and still be ready to give you a hand up (again) when you have come to your senses.


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