Thursday, May 22, 2003

Portents Abound in Europe

Anatole Kaletsky has a nice piece in the London Times dealing with the failure of the European Central Bank to adapt to global economic realities. He argues that, while the US and Japan are working to get their economies back on track in a "multilateral" effort, the ECB working within the stifling structure established by the EU is dooming the Eurozone to ever higher unemployment and recession. This combined with battles over pension reform and the overall declining population suggest that Europe will have a tough road ahead. Indeed, it most likely will be a dirt path as Europe becomes evermore irrelevant. But in the broader scheme of things, I can't help thinking that so much of this has to do precisely with the ideological myths that still haunt the continent, myths that should have expired long ago such as the dead ghost of central planning and anti-Americanism. Incidentally, Europe's opinion makers and politicians may wish to note that another entity once tried to make a go of it based on these same worn out clich├ęs and that old bear is now a shadow of itself, its empire largely gone, reduced to fighting a pathetic war it seems unable to win. But whatever its claims to the contrary, Europe has a very short memory.

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