Socialism – a destructive luxury 2

Jeff Durstewitz writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Europe has been riding on our economic coattails and sheltering under our defense umbrella since the end of World War II nearly 65 years ago. Our markets have been open to European goods, and our strong currency and relative affluence — the product of our much-maligned free-market economic model — have provided Europe with a ready buyer. (Question: How worried were French wine-makers about Americans boycotting French wines in 2003? Answer: très worried.)

While providing a huge market for Europe’s goods, we’ve also substantially relieved the European powers of the burden of defending themselves. Yes, France has an aircraft carrier and a nuclear force de frappe, but it’s not really capable of projecting significant force around the world anymore. Germany, the world’s third-largest economy, has a vestigial high-seas fleet and a modest air force. Even the Royal Navy is a shadow of its former self. “The U.S. last year spent about 44% more on defense than all other NATO members combined,” Robert Wall recently noted in Aviation Week.

By assuming Europe’s defense the U.S. has, in effect, allowed it the luxury of extremely expensive and ultimately unsustainable social-welfarism.

The great irony here is that the European model American leftists envy couldn’t survive without its despised cowboy counterparty. If the U.S. economy weakens because of increased regulation, heavy-handed unionization, and higher taxes and debt to support an expensive social agenda — all policies Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Congress are pushing hard — it will hurt Europe.

The market for Europe’s exports will shrink, and the U.S. will be less able to defend Europe. Europe is also facing a demographic cataclysm in the near future because of low birth rates (under 1.3 children per woman in the EU, well below the 2.1 necessary to maintain the population). Thus Europe will be increasingly unable to sustain its current welfare state, the very model that the left in the United States adores.

Posted under Commentary, Defense, Europe, Socialism, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 11, 2009

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This post has 2 comments.

  • pencil

    The dollar is thining in value every time a dollar is added to the system that is not earned.
    By adding such dollars, you get inflation, and when you get inflation you get lay offs in addition
    to everyone having to pay more for everything. When you employ the use of universal health care,
    wealth redistribution, or other socialistic Agendas . . . then such inflation of the dollar is inevitable.
    It looses value because it is either unearned . . . . such as the tax money the government does not earn.
    …. or it looses value by being overprinted. Obama is doing both. Why do expenses like war matter
    when the ideas themselves inevitably inflate the dollar??

  • roger in florida

    I get a little ticked at this constant drumbeat of BS from Americans who swallow the Rush Limbaugh line. France; for instance, far from sheltering under the US umbrella fought two brutal wars in the years immediately post WW2; Algeria and French Indo-China. Britain had the Palestine Mandate and fought a 20 year war in the Malayan peninsular and Borneo. True the US carried the Korean War but then were led into a catastrophe in Vietnam. As for defending Europe against the USSR, it must be remembered that there constant US provocations against the USSR that in part at least caused the tension in Europe. As for the economic arguments, these are getting a little thin now, the US economy is in a shambles because of bad policies pursued by both parties.
    The demographic argument applies almost as much to thje white population of the US as it does to the indigenous populations of Europe. The US is slowly turning into Mexico, take a tour of downtown LA if you don’t believe me.