Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beating swords into welfare cheques

MARK STEYN: Hedonistic benefits, low birth rates—Europe needs protection from itself

... Polite society has spent the years since playing catch-up. So if you don’t want your fin du civilisation analysis from a frothing right-wing loon you can now get it from the house-trained chaps at the New York Times:

“Europeans have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its national health care systems and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism . . . ‘The Europe that protects’ is a slogan of the European Union.”

Protects from what? Right now, Europe mostly needs protection from itself, and its worst inclinations:

“With low growth, low birth rates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle.”

The Times hits all the Steynian themes, including the Continent as defence-welfare queen:

“Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella.”

Absolved from having to pay for their own defence, Continentals, like Canadians, beat their swords into welfare cheques, and erected vast cradle-to-grave social entitlements. Even under the U.S. security umbrella, they proved unsustainable. Why? Because Europeans stopped breeding. And, even with unprecedented levels of immigration, they’ve been unable to halt population decline.

Again, that was mere Steynian alarmism a year or two back. Now it’s received wisdom.

Here’s Time magazine:

“Germany is shrinking—fast. New figures released on May 17 show the birth rate in Europe’s biggest economy has plummeted to a historic low.”

[Europe's biggest economy - one sixth the annual car sales of California alone. My point? Most Americans have been kept unaware that throughout the last 25 years of conservative resurgent boom (the longest in recorded history) America has continued to outperform our contanental cousins, increasing the economic gap between.

Yet we're now to adopt their model?]



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