Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

Europe may not have a high-tech industry worth of importation into the US, but over the last 125 years or so, its elites sure could crank out socialist memes which found their way here in bulk. In the Closing of the American Mind a quarter century ago, Allan Bloom discussed how America intellectual elites spent the entirety of the 20th century importing a European worldview, particularly via our college campuses. And that trend seemed to accelerate exponentially in the last decade. Or as Jonah Goldberg wrote in 2005:

According to the Pew Center, the less you like to fly the American flag, the more likely it is you are Democrat. The more you think hard work and personal initiative aren’t the ticket to the good life, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. The more you believe the United Nations is a better steward of international relations, while America is a negative actor on the world stage, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. The more you believe that the government is there to help, the more likely it is you are Democrat. The less seriously you take religion, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. Flip all of these values around and the more likely it is you are a Republican — or that you vote that way.

Of course, I’m speaking in terms of statistical generalities. Obviously, there are a great many flag-waving, God-fearing, government-mistrusting, U.N.-hating Democrats out there. But they are the exceptions to the rule.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this study is what it says about class and ideology in America. And what it says is that they don’t have that much to do with each other, which runs contrary to generations of leftish stereotypes. Poor Americans who believe in the American ideal of by-your-bootstraps success are likely to vote Republican. And rich Americans who cringe at the idea of hanging a flag from their porch vote Democrat. Wealth has become a poor predictor of political affiliation. The richest blocs in the GOP and Democratic parties — Pew calls them “Enterprisers” and “Liberals” — are roughly equally affluent. Forty-one percent of both groups make more than $75,000 per year (though there are nearly twice as many “Liberals” as there are “Enterprisers”). The largest segment of the Republican base — “Social Conservatives” — make less than Liberals.

So what does all of this have to do with body-snatching Europhiles? Well, basically, everything. The ideas, assumptions and prejudices held by the statistically typical Democratic voter, according to the Pew study, are quite simply, European. Europeans believe in a strong social welfare state, for rich and poor alike. Europeans are cynical. They look askance — these days — on patriotic sentiment (hence the rush to form a new European nation). The church pews of Europe would make a great hideout for bank robbers since they’re always empty. The United Nations is, in the typical European’s worldview, the last best hope for mankind. From the death penalty to gay marriage, the more similar you are to a typical European in your political and social outlook, the more likely you are to be a Democrat.

So, how’s that working out for the students on the receiving end of all that imported intellectual wisdom? Perhaps this headline at the liberal Huffington Post Website this weekend answers that: “America’s Youth Unemployment Rate Is One Of The Worst Of Wealthy, Large Economies”:

In the constant race to be the best America is falling behind other large, wealthy nations in at least one major category: Employing the nation’s youth.

In 2000, the United States had the lowest unemployment rate for 25- to 34-year-olds among countries with large, wealthy economies. By 2011, America had one of the highest youth unemployment rates compared to its peers, according to a New York Times op-ed by David Leonhardt, the paper’s Washington bureau chief.

How did the table’s turn on America’s youth? As unemployment soared during the Great Recession, young people — with and without college degrees — were forced to compete with more experienced candidates suddenly out of a job for very few openings. The result: Nearly half of the nation’s unemployed are under the age of 34, according to a report last month from public policy organization Demos.

Really, you mean can’t over-regulate businesses, promise to bankrupt them, tax them into the ground, demonize them, punish success and expect them to crank out new jobs? Somebody should alert Occupy Wall Street and the president they support.

Glenn discounts the role of culture in his USA Today article, but I’d say it’s a key part of America’s entrepreneurial collapse. If America’s regulatory environment is seeming more and more like Europe, as he wrote, it’s because America’s people are seeming more and more like Europeans.

Will that trend continue? Survey says…maybe.

Update: This Photoshop from last summer dovetails rather well with the above discussion, I think:

(Thumbnail image on PJM homepage by Shutterstock.com.)

<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (27)
All Comments   (27)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"regulatory and legal environment"

That is the least of causations to an economy thats diminished and has a questionable future. First and foremost, is the problem of wealth and income disparity. It hasn't been trickling down to the 49th percentile and below. When the top 20% hold essentially 80% of the nations wealth, theres a huge problem looming. Second, is that most of the nations core economies have reached maturity and ALL the core economies have excessively consolidated creating yet another huge looming problem. Third, there is little monetary liquidity for the 79th percentile down for new business startup and expansion. Fourth, is that americans have little in savings and have racked up a whopping $1 trillion dollar consumer debt and another $1 trillion education debt. Real and arbitrary inflation is eating everybodys lunch from the 79th percientile down. The very long list continues!

Yes, one can point "A' finger at the government but only after pointing three fingers at the private sector -- themselves. The government and the private sector core and secondary economies have become 99.999% corrupted and self serving. Does that sould like seeking the European model or seeking self serving greed?

The U.S. has spent decades going around the world to promote democracy and industrialization -- in fact subsidizing their industrial development. Well, its come back to bite us! They all seen their lesson about global competitiveness in a different light. We can't compete with them now. As a result much of our domestic economies have moved a large percentage of their businesses and investments to those emerging markets to leverage greater PMs.

The European model, socialism and regulatory and legal environment are the least of our problems.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The regulatory and legal environment exacerbates wealth and income disparity. The easier it is to start a business, hire someone and fire someone, the more businesses will be out there to challenge the rich guys and fat cats, lowering their margins, while flattening the income distribution. Markets work, dude
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
That simply defies the reality of today. ALL the most viable economies today, are highly consolidated and would have become so regardless of ones political or economic ideology. Name any R&D, mfg or service business you can think of that, if you had the money given to you, you think you can make big 'sustainable' $$$$ and I'll show you that you can't compete at any degree of economic success other than 'maybe' feed house and cloth your family at a minimal level.

Remember that for those who haven't saved money to start a viable business, there has long been and remains banks partnered with the federal SBS, private sector large seed and expansion partner investors and angel seed investors. What other kind of easier way do you have in mind to start a business?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
SBS = SBA
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
With the most anti-European* President in US history residing in the White House, it takes a lot of sophistry to argue that the US is becoming more like Europe.
Of course Western Europeans are stupid in believing that Obama is "one of them", but that doesn't mean you have to be stupid too.

The flaw of this post is to straight-jacket all thinking into a single dichotomy: if it's not "conservative" it must be "liberal", if it's not "right" it must be "left", if it's not American it must be "European". A few other comments make the same point, but I want to note that this tendency to force everything into a single dichotomy is typically American: not European, and afaik not from any other part of the world.

Interesting points about hi tech though. It might be worth thinking more deeply about why Japan and other Asian countries are so good in hi tech in spite of being so "European" (ie so unlike the US).

* and culturally least European.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I sense the sackcloth and smell the ashes that must have surrounded you as you wrote this. As a "European", I'm proud of my cynicism; it helps me question the urge to hang a label on everything. You're suggesting there's an aggregated sort of Keynesian Krugmanism in man, you're lumping things together and then present the result as erudite insights. Well, suck on this: I'm ultra-conservative but don't care if gays want to get married, I believe in the Golden Rule but also know that greed is good, I'm for law and order but laugh out loud at those who say that morals come from God. These may be opposites to you, but I live them by recognizing that I'm responsible for what I do and that I can't load one up for Azazel, whether State or Church.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"a sluggish socialist economy" makes all of us, except our exalted ruling class, equally poor, a socialist nirvana.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"In fact, it is yet another sign of a United States that is looking more like Europe"

Ironic that Dear Liar is both mad at the colonial imperialists and wants a more Europe-like America. Because the colonial imperialists were the Europeans. His world-view is inherently contradictory.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah, you don't understand. He hates the Imperialist Great Satan the most. The more he makes the Great Satan European, the fastest the GS will be cut down like the Europeans.

Now we have over 10 millions "disabled" workers who are afraid to find jobs, lest they forfeit their disabled labels; we have 25% age 25 - 34 unemployment. The amazing thing is we fall so fast.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the wonders of deregulation is that even in severely beaten down industries, like rail, they can come back.

Florida is getting privately financed, operated, and maintained passenger rail between Miami and Orlando.

http://www.allaboardflorida.com/

It gives me hope for the rest of our over-regulated sectors.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
All that regulation means new jobs for people at companies that have to implement them! And new jobs for people in government who have to maintain and update regulations and measure compliance.

Just like diversity creates jobs in academia, in government bureaus, and companies that have to implement it. That's all lot of jobs!

Problem is, Democrats confuse being "employed" with working in jobs that create value in a market place with free buyers and sellers.

Creating an opportunity for someone to be employed and get a paycheck is good enough - doesn't matter where the money for their pay comes from. And if a lot of people are unemployed in that system - well...at least their economic situations are equal. And isn't equality what really matters?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's symbiotic. I can't figure out how to make it relevant in a thumbnail, but the European socialist ideals, at least for factories and marriage, were road-tested in America during the 1820's onward. They wrote about their experiences and theories, and then European socialists and communists studied what they wrote. Marx and Engels were influenced by John Humphrey Noyes, who had as good an American pedigree as anyone. He founded the Oneida Community, which eventually got into plated tableware, after a detour through farming and animal traps.

This whole vision of all women belonging to all men, and all children going to daycare? Or even "special" children, and not-special drone children- that's Noyes. That's our betters on the East Coast when they get ahold of a manufacturing fortune. Darwin, in England, benefitted from a manufacturing fortune- he wanted to think he was more special than a landed aristocrat. Darwin and Galton, cousins, inspired Noyes to experiment with breeding humans.

It's not just them- they got part of it from us. We've got the space and the fortune to exercise a theory and see how it works out.

50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
One problem with this analysis is that it was never the flag waving social conservatives who were the job inventors. In my field (computers and software and electronics) you simply never see these creatures. There are few (if any) top flight silicon valley engineers who are social conservatives or flag wavers. It's been that way since the 70's. On the other hand there are plenty of GOP voters but few if any of these fly flags or have attributes that many here would recognise as "right wing." (Most of the posters here think I'm a left winger since I'm not a social conservative, but in my field I'm fairly typical of the right wingers.) For the most part those I have known since the 70's who are the drivers or creators or inventors tend to be moderately right wing while many of the rank and file employees tend not to be.

The primary difference is that the US university system is where all of the fundamental research takes place and is well funded. The educational system everyone here screeches about is pretty good at some things. Also bear in mind that european schooled engineers with a 4 year degree tend to be at the same knowledge level as techs with a 2 year degree in the US.

On the other hand the social conservatives here will eat the stats up, knowing that it's really flag waving nationalism responsible for job creation... sigh.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
So many like to screech about private sector innovation as if it were some magic silver bullet, if only the government were to get out of the way. Get the way out of what? Banks and the government SBA and angel investors have long been around to 'help' new innovation business and the more common services businesses. The latest statistics show that only 40% survive at some level after ten years and less over ten years.

In reality, 'viable' innovations get financial support from either the government and or the private sector. However, the failure rate is so high that if the nations economy were to rely solely on this group of the private sector we'd be stuck economically back decades to a large degree. So what is thais hand-fed mantra really about? Self serving ideological propaganda?

No modern indiatrialized nation has risen up to great economic power lest a government and private sector partnership. Who really has a 'legitimate' alternative?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think I will start a new business. Which part of "the government" should I plan to partner with? The Post Office part? The Ethanol part? The Global Warming part? The Amtrack part? The Agricultural subsidy part? The FEMA part? The Affordable Health Care part? The Education Dept. part? The Energy independence part? The military procurement part? The High Speed railway part? The government housing part? The Freddie and Fannie mortgage part? The banking regulation part? The NASA Muslim outreach part? The Social Security part? The Medicare part? The student loan part? The welfare for illegal aliens part? The southern border security part? The war-on-drugs part?

Gee, Zeke. There are so many wonderously efficient and effective parts to "the government" that it is really hard to choose. But one thing is for sure. No decisions made by the free market can ever hold a candle for efficiency that "the government" clearly demonstrates. We should all trust in "the government". Lots of government is good.

Another thing. Name one person who ever advocated for the "trickle down" theory (red herring) that you refer to. No, Ronnie did not.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I notice in all your superior intellect you failed to address all the government security and subsides you, your family and neighbors of your community partake of on a daily basis and most likely in you jobs for which you rely on for your livelilhood.

Do you grow your money on a money tree in the back yard? If not, then what you've ever had, trickles down to you from the treasury printing presses, to the fed reserve, to the financial and investment institutions, to the vast array of business and commerce, down to the employees who in turn recirculate their incomes back up to the business and commerce and financials rungs of the ladder. Since the 80s les and less of that money at the top is trickling down to the bottom rungs -- but hey, it sure dosen't affect me so if you're all happy with your little bit, adjusted for infalation is equal to 1950's dollars, more power to you.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Trickle down is reality. Absolutely. The GPS you have is the result of government investment into military positioning and targeting needs, which then -- after development -- was deemed suitable for civilian use, albeit in a degraded form. Think of how many businesses have made use of this -- electronics resellers push Billion$ annually alone. All of which is taxed. All of which is part of the economy.

The internet? Government funded research into reliable packet communication in case of war, all part of the CCC infrastructure. And so on.

So a gal decides to sell floral widgets online. Obama says "you didn't build that." Conservatives howl. And yet... the opportunity to market online at all was originally funded how? Government, that evil thing. She *didn't* build all of that. Just the icing on top of the infrastructural elements designed to hold icing.

All of you tea partying smaller government uber alles "conservative" types are wrong. Hilariously so. The interstate generated trillion$ in business. TRILLION$. Bad old government. Run by republicans.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>>So many like to screech about private sector innovation as if it were some magic silver bullet, if only the government were to get out of the way.<<<


There is no safety net for private sector innovation. You fail, you crap out. Having some government help would be a blessing.

The very same people screeching "private sector innovation" will also look through their superior noses at the guy whose startup failed and his credit is now hosed as if he is a born Obamaphone begger. They get all moral and such and pontificate about personal responsibility and so on.

In the valley I had a neighbour, insurance office worker. Always railed about personal responsibility and looked thru her nose at the folks who lost their tails in startups and hosed their credit and so on (even happened to me once too.) Thing is, this was a woman whose job was guaranteed by government law: you can't drive without insurance, you can't have a mortgage without insurance. In CA it's a government guaranteed pool of MILLIONS of people who were legally compelled to buy her product. She had job security out the yingyang yet reckoned she was part of the 'private sector' because she worked for state farm. Absolutely NO concept, not even 1-800-BUY-CLUE would help, of what private sector innovation is all about. And what it's all about begins with creating something somebdy wants to have but are not compelled to buy.

Seriously, look around. Listen. A majority of the personal responsibillity screechers have some form of guaranteed income working either for government or the state or in a job that is compelled (e.g. insurance) by regulations and law. These are the people who are the ones taalking about "private sector innovation." The ones who know nothing of risk.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes sir! The sadest of all is the ignorance these poeple possess, thinking they're 'independent' successes of the the great american dream. Everyone of them are benefactors of more government provided security and subsides than that of the 'welfare' recipients they rail against.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The primary difference is that the US university system is where all of the fundamental research takes place and is well funded. "

This much we can agree on. From there, however, your perceptions are, ...less well justified. Social conservatives are not who are at issue here. The people, and policies who are at issue are those that encourage or discourage the particular freedoms of action needed to join the world-wide market networks of industrial society. Social Conservatives too often have little interest there, one way or another. People interested in market freedoms of action are far more interested in such articles as this than anyone concerned about who sleeps with whom.

"The educational system everyone here screeches about is pretty good at some things."

Note that those screeches are not nearly so often about work done in STEM disciplines of interest to this discussion of high-tech entrepreneurs as in the so-called "social sciences", long dominated by a statist agenda. Your attempt to conflate the two here is, ...not appropriate to the discussion.

I do find it odd that those who count themselves as "progressive" are *fascinated* by social conservatives, but are dismissive of the far larger number of those interested in market freedoms of action. Those freedoms are what this article was about, not social conservatism.

While they are not as distressed as those in Europe, there are real problems with US colleges. The recently high-lighted problems with funding peer review are one example that reaches even into the STEM disciplines. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the US are dropouts from college, specifically because of the culture being dominated by deeply class bigot social science groups and humanities areas. At least that is my experience.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Social conservatives are the flag waving god fearing republicans in question, and the article writer conflates these with republicans in general. I addressed this part.

While successful entrepreneurs can sometimes be dropouts, this is meaningless since the overwhelming majority of those are autodidacts. They read the same authors as college peers, studied the same materials, and superceded them. Just not in class. You can't equate high IQ autodidacts with random dropouts who couldn't hack the material. John Carmack of Id Software (and Armadillo Aerospace) is an example. And even then this is limited; you don't see too many telescope jockeys and physicists who aren't degreed. And none of these drop out due to a perceived slant in humanties classes.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
"market freedoms of action."

The fiscal conservatives and especially the socons on trhe matter of economics and free markets, lean towards endorsing the modern day western libertarian-anarchist ideology. it simply will not work efficiently or as intended, in either an isolated or global economy. We have a couple thousand years of history to defy that logic.

Human nature always proves to collides headon with freedom(s).

Human nature has led us down the path of layers and layers of government regulations under the vail of 'protecting' the majorities freedoms of equality to pursue opportunity........ that constitutional thing.

Academically, we simply produce far more humanity sheepskins than we do useful and productive sheepskin disciplines or as you refer to them STEM. That is a problem not cvaused by any government or political ideology. That is again, is human nature at work -- path of least resistance to meet an expected end.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spor-on as to European High-Tech companies.

During the latter 80's, I had to attempt to repair a piece of medical electronics made by Vickers. It was utterly incomprehensible and one great big kluge.

I finally had to draw in my Operation's Manager and even then, between the two of us (several decades electronics experience between us) could not figure it out.

Courtesy of their crappy and ill-conceived kluge, we recommended that department cancel their contract with Vickers, never use them again, and go with an American product instead. They did so and were very pleased.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All

One Trackback to “An Entrepreneurial or European Worldview? American Philosophy at the Crossroads”