Fareed Zakaria reports in his essay The Decline and Fall of Europe, that the EU is in big trouble. Buried in the bureaucratic twaddle of a lengthy report called, pathetically, “Going for Growth” are acknowledgements that Europe is sputtering and staggering.
If present trends continue, the chief economist at the OECD argues, in 20 years the average U.S. citizen will be twice as rich as the average Frenchman or German. (Britain is an exception on most of these measures, lying somewhere between Continental Europe and the U.S.) …
The OECD report goes through the status of reforms country by country, and all the major continental economies get a B-minus. Whenever some politician makes tiny, halting efforts at reform, strikes and protests paralyze the country. In recent months, reformers like Nicolas Sarkozy in France, Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels and Angela Merkel in Germany have been backtracking on their proposals and instead mouthing pious rhetoric about the need to “manage” globalization.
The decline of Europe means a world with a greater diffusion of power and a lessened ability to create international norms and rules of the road. It also means that America’s superpower status will linger. Think of the dollar. For years people have argued that it is due for a massive drop as countries around the world diversify their savings. But as people looked at the alternatives, they decided that the chief rivals, the euro and the yen, represented economies that were structurally weak. So they have reluctantly stuck with the dollar. It’s a similar dynamic in other arenas. You can’t beat something with nothing.
We won’t even get into the demographic trends.
The USA is ahead by default, and it is going to stay that way for a while, probably until China and India reach their full development potential. But that is at least a generation ahead, and might take up most of this century.
Britain, “lying somewhere between Continental Europe and the U.S.” needs an Anglospheric option, so it does not continue to be dragged down by a Europe which is headed for the ash-heap of history.
I have no schadenfreude. I wish it were otherwise. But the European model is one of economic and political and demographic suicide. The sooner it discredited the sooner our own leftists will be unable to use it as a stick to beat us with. They will have to come up with some other utopian fantasy as their next jar of snake oil.
(Cross-posted at Albion’s Seedlings.)