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Ed Driscoll

Painful Case of Eurosclerosis Diagnosed

January 20th, 2013 - 11:46 am

“States like California are already there — just ask the thousands of Californians and businesses who have fled the land of Nancy Pelosi,” writes Samuel Gregg, the author of Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future. Gregg gives a sneak preview of the book’s themes in the New York Post:

Europeanization is also reflected in the refusal of so many Americans to take our nation’s debt crisis seriously. Likewise, virtually every index of economic freedom and competitiveness shows that, like most Western European nations, America’s position vis-à-vis other countries is in decline.

Between January 2008 and January 2011, for example, there was a marked growth in the amount of regulation in America — the pace being almost 40% more than the annual rate of increase between 1992 and 2008. Similarly, between 2008 and 2011 the number of people working in federal government regulatory agencies rose by 16% — a total of more than 276,000 people — at a time when private-sector employment was falling.

It’s no wonder the Nobel economist Robert E. Lucas asked in his 2011 Milliman Lecture at the University of Washington whether America was now “imitating European policies on labor markets, welfare and taxes.”

Such trends are deeply troubling. But here’s the good news. First, there remain many ways in which America has not succumbed to eurosclerosis. Risk-taking and entrepreneurship-levels remain, for example, much higher than in Europe. America’s labor markets also remain more flexible than those of Europe (despite American unions’ best efforts to the contrary).

Second, the problems of nations like Greece, Italy, Spain, Britain and France are functioning as a type of early-warning system. They’re enough of a “canary in the coal mine” to help us make the right decisions and get back to the principles that made the United States an economic superpower.

And this is the choice which increasingly faces America. We can either continue our long march towards a form of social democracy presided over by an all-pervasive European-like political class and associated insider-groups; or, we can embrace a dynamic market economy that takes liberty seriously and understands that government intervention in the economy must and can be limited.

Read the whole thing.

(Via Maggie’s Farm. There’s another link in the same post that might have some slight relation to the above article: “Confirmed: Obamacare Is Already Killing Jobs.”)

Update: Low information Obama voter has fleeting moment of clarity.

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