sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, June 12, 2011

European Socialism - An American Future?

I admit that when I think of Europe, I often think of it in a vastly historic context. As a close student of the military campaigns of Charlemagne and of his grandfather Charles Martel, I've seen landmarks and at times I've mentioned them to my European friends -- who don't care. To many Europeans, their past is not equated with the Renaissance or the Enlightenment, but in terms of tourist dollars.

Most European cathedrals are empty on Sunday and in Germany, some have been sold to Muslims. Europeans marvel at Americans who 'senselessly cling to their God and guns' (sound familiar?). European Christendom has gone the way of the dodo bird and the iron horse. In its place it their newly found socialism, which is choking them like a strangler fig.

I've been on the phone with friends from Europe because I'm planning to visit this summer. Their tale of recession seems to be more profound than mine is. Prices there are roughly double what we pay in the US and their future seems more uncertain than ours is -- because they've bought off more completely on the promise of a socialist worker's paradise. They've caved to the Muslim thirst for Sharia Law and are now trying to reverse the curse.

European taxes are draconian and the higher taxes go, the more people cheat on them, the less revenue comes in. Just like in the US - but worse. Friends advise that the vast and pervasive value added tax is more for tourists and the unwary than it is for the wise shopper, who will be able to purchase under-the-table without paying the tax. So I guess it means that I'll need to take a local with me when buying presents to bring to the people back home? 

Gasoline/petrol is heavily taxed in Europe. $10/gallon seems to be the norm. Electricity is about three times as expensive as it is in the US and there is no relief in sight. You can avoid paying value-added-tax by negotiating the 'real price', but you still have to buy gasoline at the pump and the electric monopoly is an arm of the government, and taxation.

15% unemployment is the rule in much of Europe (it's double that in Greece), and nobody can figure out what the underemployment numbers would be. Nobody bothers to attempt to figure that one out. But no worries. You can make more on welfare than you can working in much of the utopian worker's paradise, so staying home, drinking beer and watching the television has become a 'job' to many. Their small, expensive apartments look and feel more like jail cells and when they walk the streets, they're shoved by hoards of North African, sub-Saharan African and Pakistani immigrants who out-breed them 10 to 1 and will soon be the majority in many quarters.

But, in the United States, the political class seem intend on copying the European model an force-feeding it to Americans. The only question I can mount is simply this: Why would we want it?


10 comments:

  1. Your support of the European economy is puzzling. I have friends who travel internationally every year and spend money supporting the foreign economy. To remain American and support our country's economy we should stay in this country and vacation here. I've traveled a lot domestically and have a valid passport but while the balance of payments is so dismal against us, I stay home.

    What could I need or want for which I'd have to travel to godless countries to get? - Charlene

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  2. Good points LL, and I've seen the same thing in my trips over there... We don't want it, but I think too many are being lulled by the administration and 'free' government money to truly understand the ramifications.

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  3. Charlene - If it makes you feel any better, I'll be staying with European friends I served with while in the US Navy, and in a sense leaching off of the Europeans.

    Old NFO - They made their bed and it's none too comfortable for them these days. We don't want what they have and -- there is nothing quite so expensive as a free lunch.

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  4. Wow - that's not the Europe I know. Bizarre. I've travelled all over the world, lived in UK, Germany, Belgium, Australia and USA and the place I'd least like to live in is ..... ta da .... the USA! Keep your guns, violent crime, dreadful education, appalling food, blinkered insular patriotism and lack of true community. Low taxes? You don't count healthcare insurance as a tax? And gas is just as expensive stateside as your gas guzzlers use way more gas than European models. Yeah cheap Chinese made goods are .... well, cheap, but no amount of "stuff" makes up for the poor quality of American life. Don't be one of those Yanks who comes to Europe and spends the entire trip complaining and whining loudly about everything not being just as it is at home ..... Europeans really don't like that .... they think it's rude and arrogant! Best regards, Amie

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  5. Anonymous - I lived in Europe for quite some time and I'm not one of those loud Americans wearing cowboy hats, boots and a big belt buckle who complains... However, you can keep the comfort of a failing socialist system that is imploding on itself. I'm going to visit friends including family in Switzerland, who own guns (how terrifying).

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  6. Nice try Amie...3.79 million square miles, 50 states, 300 million Americans - I'm not so sure you got a good view of the quality of life of the average American. Freedom comes at a price, but it provides endless choices...choices that allow millions to live virtually untouched by violent crime, choices in many schooling options that can lead to attending one of the thousands of colleges and universities that are the envy of the world, choices of which of the multitude of nearby grocery stores and food outlets you want to get your food from, and the choice of what type of vehicle you want to put your giant American flag bumper sticker on...sounds more like you saw America on TV.

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  7. Race - It may also be true that Amie visited a bastion of socialism in America, like Detroit. That city would leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth.

    However, Health Insurance in America is not a tax. It's a choice. You can decide how much to pay or to not pay at all. CHOICE is the key to freedom.

    And my BMW burns exactly as much fuel in America as it would in Germany (or France).

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  8. The obamster would be thrilled to see us with English style taxes to pay. I wonder if he still thinks the Euros all love each other?

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  9. sorry to tell you that but most of what you present as facts here is just hugely overestimated. Unemployment in germany right now is under 7%, gpd growth at over 3%(with a stagnating population) while we export more then the whole of USA does with just a quarter of the population.
    I dont know about the genral price level but I know that a couple of years ago walmart failed to get profitable in germany because they couldnt compete on prices (and some other reasons as well). And Ive certainly never heard of any european country adopting sharia law, thats just absurd.
    You say health insurance is a choice in the US and while thats certainly true I have yet to meet someone who would choose to not go to a doctor if hes sick. Anyway, if u want to compare the taxes you have too compare what you get for it as well.

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