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America is the future, Europe is the past

By Alan Caruba
web posted November 11, 2002

The Marquis de Lafayette who came here to fight in our Revolution said, "The welfare of America is closely bound up with the welfare of mankind." Today, however, I suspect he would reverse that to say that the welfare of mankind is bound up with the welfare of America.

In a recent column about Europe, Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, wrote of "the new anti-Americanism, a blend of jealousy and resentment of America's overwhelming economic and military power." One German editor calls it the "Axis of Envy." The bottom line, said Friedman, is that "Many Europeans today fear, or detest, America more than they fear Saddam."

For some time now, whenever we have read or heard a news story about Europe, it is usually about its refusal, nation by nation, to cooperate with the United States, to berate the United States, and to cling to some very outdated and unrealistic notions. We used to think the Europeans were our allies, but they are really more like our spiteful, poor relations.

The resentment Europeans feel reflects the fact that America is the future and Europe is the past.

This is brought into sharp focus in a brilliant analysis, "Old and In the Way", by Karl Zinsmeister. It appears in the December edition of The American Enterprise (www.TAEmag.com). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine and has the happy facility of taking very complicated subjects and clarifying them. The magazine is published by the American Enterprise Institute and is devoted to politics, business, and culture.

"If Europeans want to ban the death penalty," writes Zinsmeister, "that's fine with Americans; but don't ask us to follow the same dictate. If Europeans think selling military technology to North Korea and Iran, and helping Libya and Iraq with their oil industries is a good idea, expect not a shred of support from the US. If Europeans believe their determination to send billions of dollars to Yasser Arafat is likely to speed peace in the Middle East, we won't stop them."

This is, of course, precisely what the Europeans have been doing in the face of every indication that the nations with whom they are doing business want an Islamic Europe or, in the case of North Korea, have demonstrated once again that no Communist nation can be trusted.

Zinsmeister points out that the elites who run Europe have an exaggerated belief in the power of diplomacy. This is odd considering the last century's history in which European diplomacy failed to deter two World Wars. If war is simply a different form of diplomacy (we've tried talking to Saddam) then we are soon to apply it to the one man who has given the United Nations the opportunity to prove beyond any doubt its utter impotence and irrelevance. The UN is the world's epicenter of blather.

A number of key factors have consigned Europe to stagnation and most of them reflect its love affair with Socialism. Its embrace of statism was undeterred by the long years of the Cold War when the then-Soviet Russia threatened to impose Communism on the whole of Europe. It had seized or was ceded Eastern Europe after World War II and it took nearly fifty years for the Poles to cast them out. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, its captive states rapidly breathed free air again, but then decided to create its own Soviet in the form of the European Union, thinking that was the way to compete with the United States.

The EU is a bunch of bureaucratic elites and Europeans have little or no say in their dictates. Socialists to the core, they think they will be able to compete with the US if they just pass a few more thousand rules, regulations, and, of course, trade restrictions.

The Europeans, however, cannot compete with Americans and Zinsmeister tells us why. "The locomotive of Europe is the German economy, which has been in a serious mess for more than a decade. Germany's annual growth rate over the past ten years has been a limp 1.4 percent." The answer is just too obvious. "The German labor market has become one of the most inflexible and uncompetitive in the world, which is why unemployment has been stuck at 9-10 percent for years, even amid a global economic boom." Ours, by contrast, is about five percent. If we stop importing high tech and other workers, unemployed Americans with comparable skills will be able to get back to work.

To state it plainly, Europeans don't work as hard or as long as Americans. We are far more productive. Unlike America's immigrants who assimilate, Europe's immigrant population tends to end up on welfare. The European Union estimates that it will take fifty million immigrants over the next few years just to maintain a big enough working population to fund the programs for those who are retired or soon will be. Most of those immigrants will come from North Africa and the Middle East. Since Europeans are not reproducing, the native born Germans, Italians, French and others are becoming nations of old people with too few to replace them. If this continues, Europe is a generation away from becoming an Islamic continent.

Zinsmeister's article and magazine is an instant lesson about the decline of Europe and the rise of the only hope for freedom in the world, the United States of America.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on www.anxietycenter.com, the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba, 2002

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