Saturday, May 22, 2010

Socialism Sucks, Part Deux: Nanny State

I never thought I would see this day. An article in the New York Times has actually placed the blame for Europe's problems where it belongs: European Socialism. When the centerpiece publication of the American Left comes out against a core principle of the Left, you know times are a-changin'. I only wish I could have seen the confused looks on all of the NYT readers' faces this morning when they were informed - probably for the first time in their lives - that socialism is inherently self-destructive.

Some of the highlights in this article are particularly satisfying.
Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella.
Exactly right: America has been responsible for most of Europe's defense since WWII, and it was not military spending that bankrupted the continent. This topples one of the pillars of left-wing doctrine.
With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The countries are trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits and pensions.
Many on the Left are adamantly against large families, believing that they harm humanity and the planet, but it turns out that eco-friendly small families undermine the arithmetic of the cradle-to-grave safety net. Europe is also realizing (too late) that complete health coverage for all is unsustainable. It's too bad this didn't happen about a year ago, because it might have prevented the Obamacare catastrophe from coming to fruition in this country. Instead we're doomed to go through the same painful spasms ourselves.

A subtext here is that with Europe and America going bankrupt at nearly the same time, nobody will be able to step in and take over the military defense of Europe. Indeed, Victor Davis Hanson fears that an angry Germany, robbed of its retirement savings by defaulting Mediterranean nations, might rise up again in the power vacuum to come.

Hang on to your hats, folks.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I read that Hanson piece and was astounded.
Not by his inital observations, but by his voicing that final concern.

Astounding.

Yep. Hold onto our hates, alright!