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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.)

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All Comments   (16)
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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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"a sluggish socialist economy" makes all of us, except our exalted ruling class, equally poor, a socialist nirvana.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year 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?
1 year ago
1 year 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.

1 year ago
1 year 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.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hate to tee off on my neighbors again,but it's too easy.My guess,75% Government dependents.Overweight,listless,adrift,uneducated,drugged and complaining.City taxes going up? Not on them!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is a tar pit in California,where mastodons sometimes go, on their final walk.Big government also sinks and takes everyone along to the bottom! Much like a mouse trap,waiting to give you some Government cheese.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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