Thursday, June 12, 2003

As I was saying....

This BBC article confirms that economic growth in the Eurozone is declining with France and Germany leading the downward charge. Even the ECB has to admit that the picture isn't good. Personally, I have no problem with lower growth in the EU as compared with the US. It's perfectly reasonable if Europeans would prefer lower growth rates and more social programs. What I find ludicrous is the insistence on the part of Euroland idealists that the EU can be more "caring" than the US while also be a viable competitor with the US on the world stage. The illusion is foolish and can be dangerous when it's driven by an obsession with petty jealousy.

Incidentally, we often read that the Eurozone will increase its competitiveness because there are now fewer boundaries between the nations. Apparently we're supposed to believe that today's Europe is full of happy Europeans wandering the continent engaging in economic, social and cultural intercourse. But this is just another one of the myths created by the Eurocrats. In fact, I would argue that Europeans are more cut off from each other now than they were even thirty years ago - an argument I've heard made by more than one European. All we have to do is look at the intellectual life of French and German universities where it's clear that interchanges between the two are far fewer now than between the two world wars. Indeed, it is was precisely when Europeans cultivated their national political lives that they could talk with each other because they each had something of substance to present to their fellow Europeans. Today, with national political life under threat by the EU, Europeans are becoming both more uniform and more locked into their immediate lives. They interest one another less and less. Such is the much feted European solidarity.

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