02 Sep 2012

The American Election Europeans Should Be Having

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Janet Daily, in the British Telegraph, recognizes that America is having the kind of election that European countries are incapable of having: an election in which one party is proposing to face economic reality.

Whatever the outcome of the American presidential election, one thing is certain: the fighting of it will be the most significant political event of the decade. Last week’s Republican national convention sharpened what had been until then only a vague, inchoate theme: this campaign is going to consist of the debate that all Western democratic countries should be engaging in, but which only the United States has the nerve to undertake. The question that will demand an answer lies at the heart of the economic crisis from which the West seems unable to recover. It is so profoundly threatening to the governing consensus of Britain and Europe as to be virtually unutterable here, so we shall have to rely on the robustness of the US political class to make the running.

What is being challenged is nothing less than the most basic premise of the politics of the centre ground: that you can have free market economics and a democratic socialist welfare system at the same time. The magic formula in which the wealth produced by the market economy is redistributed by the state – from those who produce it to those whom the government believes deserve it – has gone bust. The crash of 2008 exposed a devastating truth that went much deeper than the discovery of a generation of delinquent bankers, or a transitory property bubble. It has become apparent to anyone with a grip on economic reality that free markets simply cannot produce enough wealth to support the sort of universal entitlement programmes which the populations of democratic countries have been led to expect. The fantasy may be sustained for a while by the relentless production of phoney money to fund benefits and job-creation projects, until the economy is turned into a meaningless internal recycling mechanism in the style of the old Soviet Union.

Or else democratically elected governments can be replaced by puppet austerity regimes which are free to ignore the protests of the populace when they are deprived of their promised entitlements. You can, in other words, decide to debauch the currency which underwrites the market economy, or you can dispense with democracy. Both of these possible solutions are currently being tried in the European Union, whose leaders are reduced to talking sinister gibberish in order to evade the obvious conclusion: the myth of a democratic socialist society funded by capitalism is finished. This is the defining political problem of the early 21st century.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to the News Junkie.

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2 Feedbacks on "The American Election Europeans Should Be Having"

GoneWithTheWind

You remember when Clinton left office his staff pulled a lot dirty tricks. Removed the “W” from the keyboards, put all the keys for the White House in a bucket with no tags, etc. Obama’s staff and Obama are far more hardcore then Clinton’s staff and Clinton. I would expect that if Mitt wins that Obama will immediately begin the process to tank the economy to assure Mitt’s failed presidency. Couple that with predictions by economists and experts of a pending collapse anyway and I think you have a recipe for a disaster.



SDD

A business can’t pursue uneconomic products and policies indefinitely because when it does, a competitor with superior performance will swamp it. Ask the people at K-Mart why Wall-Mart ate their lunch.
For most of the last 30 years or so, the US had been eating Europe’s lunch, too. Growth rates from 1982-2007 were twice in the US what they were in western Europe. Europe’s only hope was that the US would adopt similar anti-growth welfare-state policies, so that the performance contrast would not appear as stark. That “hope” was realized with Obama.



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