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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 174 -- Economic Freedom Coincides With Political Rights. | WILLisms.com | Revolution! »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 175 -- What Is Europe's Deal?

Failing Europe-

Europe is in trouble:

Nearly one third of Germans under 30 say that the U.S. government ordered the 9/11 attacks. In France, a book insisting that Americans carried out the assault themselves to increase defense budgets becomes a huge bestseller. In Britain, major newspapers carry headlines like "The USA is Now the World's Leading Rogue State."

Asked which countries are the biggest threat to world peace, Europeans name the U.S as often as North Korea and Iran (each are picked by 53 percent). Countries characterized by Euros as less menacing than the U.S. include Syria, Iraq, Russia, China, Afghanistan, Libya.

In Germany in particular, anti-Americanism, which transcends Bush-- or Republican control of Congress-- is an effective campaign tool. Sure, there are limits to how far the German left can ride the anti-American train, but there's no doubt there is a very tangible font of electoral support there.

Tapping into that well will eventually make little or no sense, as the European left continues its failed economic policies. The German left is clearly not getting the job done, but for now anti-Americanism remains a powerful political force.

But America picking up the slack of limp-wristed Europe is nothing new:

Truth be told, continental Europeans have been making themselves scarce during times of crisis for more than two generations. Their current claim is that lack of a U.N. mandate is what has prevented Europe from standing shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. since the 9/11 attacks. But the Old World’s failure to make any proportionate contribution to the war on terror is actually part of a long historical pattern. Consider their response the last time a large U.N.-commanded force went to war—in Korea.

After North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, the U.N. responded militarily. Of the 340,000 troops sent under U.N. control, how many of these do you suppose were European? About 5 percent. In the crunch, only Britain provided meaningful help, sending 14,198 soldiers at the Korean War’s peak. The next biggest European contribution? Greece, with 1,263. France followed, providing all of 1,119 troops.

The U.S., meanwhile, provided more than 300,000 fighters. Do the math and you’ll see something interesting: The Korean War alliance included 16 nations, and America supplied 88 percent of the military manpower. The Iraq War coalition included 32 nations, and 85 percent of the G.I.s were Americans. (Poland, Holland, and the Ukraine each contributed more soldiers to the Iraq War coalition than the French did to the Korean War.) See a pattern?

...the stark reality is that only 3 to 5 percent of the 2.5 million personnel under arms in Europe today can be deployed, even for a short time.

Even if France and Germany had supported the liberation of Iraq, they just wouldn't have had the manpower to do anything about it. Old Europe has been living under the protective shield of the United States for so many decades now that it no longer has any concept of reality. Threats are something to cry about after they have struck, not something to snuff out beforehand.

The worst offender is Germany:

Europe’s economic trauma can be seen most clearly in Germany, which has performed miserably since edging away from the American free-market model and toward the French socialized-market alternative. Unemployment in Germany has reached the potentially destabilizing level of 12 percent. More shockingly, about a third of those unemployed have been jobless for more than a year. This is not some recessionary blip; over the last decade and a half, economic growth in Germany has averaged only a little over 1 percent. This miserable performance has allowed the people of other nations to pass the Germans in standard of living.

As Europe’s locomotive runs out of fuel, the whole train slows. French unemployment rates are nearly as high as in Germany. Across the 15 nations of the European Union, the proportion of the jobless who have been unemployed for more than a year now exceeds 40 percent.

Europe is failing. And the recent muddle in the German election is a sad reminder that the problem with Europe is not exclusively a problem of snooty European elites bucking the will of the people.

The people marginally prefer failed Euro-Marxist policies; they are addicted to the generous welfare state benefits. And it is driving up unemployment:

In France, Italy, Germany, and Belgium, approximately a quarter of all workers under 25 are currently unemployed....

And the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that economic growth will slacken even further in the countries employing the Euro as currency. From an anemic growth rate of 1.3 percent per year between 2010 and 2020, OECD economists forecast a decline to under 1 percent annual growth during the decade following. Those little gray numbers are more than marks on paper—over time they will translate into notably pinched lives. Already, higher U.S. growth over the last generation has given average Americans a standard of living about 40 percent richer than average continental Europeans. Continue that a few more decades and we will no longer be peers, but two very different cultures.

This final point is very important to think about. If, over the next few decades, Europe grows at 1% and the United States grows at 3%, we will have two starkly different societies. STARKLY different. To demonstrate this, let's turn to the Political Calculations Future Value Calculator.

The American economy is roughly 12 trillion dollars large.

Now, let's take that 12 trillion dollars, with a 1% annual rate of return, compounded daily, for forty years: $17,901,798,281,182.28 - Nearly 18 trillion dollars.

Now, let's take that 12 trillion dollars, with a 3% annual rate of return, compounded daily, for forty years: $39,839,438,447,474.09 - Nearly 40 trillion dollars.


Incidentally, the U.S. GDP growth rate was 3.1% in 2003 and 4.4% in 2004.

The German GDP growth rate, meanwhile, was -0.1% in 2003 and 1.6% in 2004.

The gap in the longer trends are just as pronounced, so I will spare Germany any more humiliation.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Economic Liberty Freakin' Rules.

Posted by Will Franklin · 20 September 2005 09:03 AM


It would be interesting to overlay some net immigration numbers onto these statistics, especially after netting out the EU's mandatory "refugee admittance" quotas.

"Yankee go home -- and take me with you!"

Posted by: KipEsquire at September 20, 2005 09:12 AM