Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Europe to US: Stop the Madness!

Who is lecturing us on economics? Sweden, France and Germany?! Yes. They think we’re spending too much money and becoming too socialist.

What’s going on here? These people invented oppressive government. They made Socialism cool. Hollywood,Obama and the rest of the intelligentsia idolize them. How spiteful of them to now wave us off from the promised land. Is it because they’re still ticked off that the United States implemented the Marshall Plan in 1947? We only did it to save their sorry asses from falling into the clutches of communism, anarchy, starvation or all of the above. Apparently the aphorism that “people beholden to you wind up hating you” is true.

But no, they’re not that petty. Europe is warning us because they know that they can’t continue their nanny-state socialist ways unless someone, somewhere still has a huge, thriving market driven economy, That’s right, an economy that dares not speak its name: free-market capitalism. Without free-market economies, socialist economies burdened with oppressive socialist programs would collapse under their own weight.

It’s simple. If countries don’t make things and sell things that somebody is willing to buy, the tax base will be insufficient to pay for all the swell programs that serve to equalize the proletariat. Zip,zero,nada. Egalitarianism loses a lot of its charm when it is reduced to the least common denominator.

But you can’t tell that to the idiot class that shows up at every meeting of world leaders to protest the evils of capitalism. Without the filthy capitalists, financial institutions, and money that they detest – these useless idiots would have to brush up on their hunting and gathering skills. (An aside: That these yahoos who find each other over the internet and organize demonstrations against capitalism across the globe call themselves “anarchists” is an insult to anarchists and capitalism, (which is economic anarchy) but that’s another post.) But what these “anarchists” are protesting – capitalism in general and the United States brand of it in particular – European leaders understand they need: a market for their goods and services.

Without the United States to buy the crap they make, their socialist economies fold like a cheap suitcase. America’s higher GDP and lower tax rate allow its citizens to enjoy a higher percentage of disposable income than any of the European nations (a whopping 32% differential). This provides Europe with a market for Nokias, Mercedes, Brie, Bordeaux and all that tasteful contemporary crap cranked out by IKEA. Without us humming in the background, the rest of the world is thrown off key.

There is another reason Europe’s leaders don’t want the United States to collapse into a socialist morass. Countries bogged down by the cost of social entitlement programs can’t afford much in the way of a standing army. That’s why Europe's armies have become mostly ceremonial and ill-equipped for real conflict. They have a small band of combat troops, but by and large today’s continental armies train more chefs, chocolatiers and musicians than real soldiers. They need NATO forces in the event their puny economies collapse and the peasants revolt; and even more so if a country with a real army (e.g. China, Russia) decides they want to annex some vineyards or ski resorts.

And let’s be clear, NATO is the United States: predominantly staffed with American men, women, guns and gear. Europe needs NATO, which is to say, they hate NATO (see aphorism above.) They can’t afford to have it disappear, or even be cut back, if the United States economy becomes as unsustainable as their own.

The consequences of an ever growing burden of socialist programs and nanny-state entitlements is clear to European heads of state who’ve dealt with the downside for years. That’s why the United States is getting the avuncular lecture. Europe can’t extricate themselves from the trap they’ve become ensnared it. Our own leaders, blinders firmly in place, hasten to follow them down the rabbit hole.