Skip to comments.The End of Europe
Posted on 06/15/2005 9:16:40 AM PDT by quidnunc
Europe as we know it is slowly going out of business. Since French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed constitution of the European Union, we've heard countless theories as to why: the unreality of trying to forge 25 E.U. countries into a United States of Europe; fear of ceding excessive power to Brussels, the E.U. capital; and an irrational backlash against globalization. Whatever their truth, these theories miss a larger reality: Unless Europe reverses two trends low birthrates and meager economic growth it faces a bleak future of rising domestic discontent and falling global power. Actually, that future has already arrived.
Ever since 1498, after Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and opened trade to the Far East, Europe has shaped global history, for good and ill. It settled North and South America, invented modern science, led the Industrial Revolution, oversaw the slave trade, created huge colonial empires, and unleashed the world's two most destructive wars. This pivotal Europe is now vanishing and not merely because it's overshadowed by Asia and the United States.
All this is bad for Europe and the United States. A weak European economy is one reason that the world economy is shaky and so dependent on American growth. Preoccupied with divisions at home, Europe is history's has-been. It isn't a strong American ally, not simply because it disagrees with some U.S. policies but also because it doesn't want to make the commitments required of a strong ally. Unwilling to address their genuine problems, Europeans become more reflexively critical of America. This gives the impression that they're active on the world stage, even as they're quietly acquiescing in their own decline.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Some would say the decline of Europe started in the 1940s, about the same time as America started to dominate. I wonder why???
If the leftist libbies had their way, we would be sharing the same fate as them. I just can't believe how close we came to Kerry being elected and this would be happening to us right now.
The US was the only major power to emerge from WWII with its infrastructure and economy intact..
Wow, the truth packed into that one concluding sentence is pretty compelling, isn't it?
Typical lefty. Anyone who disagrees with their world view is 'irrational'.
Well said, but a distinction should always be made between western and eastern Europe. The eastern Europeans seem to be a tougher breed. For some reason - no one seems to know quite why - Poland experienced a baby boom in the 1980's and is now blessed with a youthful cohort coming of age at a time when youth in western Europe is a vanishing resource. One of the pleasures of visiting Poland is to see the abundance of young people.
A true statement.
It is also true that the US rebuilt Japan and Germany and sheltered all of Europe from normal costs of Defense for over 50 decades.
Japan recovered to such a great extent that in the 1980's we thought they were going to eat our lunch.
But Europe never recovered to such an extent. It wasn't the War that carried her off. It was the socialist coffin they carried her off in.
Japan was devastated, yet they are totally socialist. The War isn't a factor. The main factor is people get elected to government and impose socialism upon their citizens. They purposely choke capitalism and dumb down their populace. Low birth rates are due to high taxes and feminism. The left in American can't wait to send us down the same road. The left is quite strong around the world. I don't seen many social programs being reduced anywhere in the world. I don't seen government being rolled back anywhere. The left will destroy this Republic, unless we destroy the left first.
Would a "Back to Europe" movement perhaps be a good idea? I would love to romp in the olive groves of my ancestral Calabrian homeland.
Our great Republic is due primarily to our Founders. They sought to bind down men of mischief with the chains of the Constitution. Unfortunately for about 100 years the left and been relentless in trying to purposely destroy this Republic and morph it into a balkanized Socialist hell. Europe is almost over the brink. If the left have their way, we shall follow. I don't see a Republican leader for 08 who truly understands what is at stake. The socialist policies of the left is killing this country and all we here is how the rich are growing richer.
should be.... yet they aren't totally socialist....
a weak european ecconomy is NOT bad for the USA.
The EU is trying to become the regulatory force of THE world.
IOW USA regulations are irrelevant, obey EU rules. Or worse you now have TWO groups of pencil pushers to overcome.
When the EU as a regulatory force collapses, THEN europe will be able to recover.
Re: Back to Europe. Italy permits dual citizenship. I lived there for a year and I know a number of Americans there who enjoy the benefits of having an ancestral claim to live in that wonderful country.
It IS happening here, right now. We are simply not reproducing, political correctness and unrestricted immigration will take care of the rest. Change is constant and ongoing, it will accelerate under the libs and we will continue our slide into the gutter. Sorry to be so negative but evolution is constant too.
Europe: See Eurabia.
You are right on the mark, never was a truer statement made.
Well, we can dream, can't we?
First things first, the Hildabeast MUST be defeated in 2008.
The decline in Europe started with the spread of democratic socialism at the beginning of the 19th century. This was in imitation of the American revolution. But what worked here until 1860s (and has been in obvious decline since the 1940s) never worked in Europe because it always developed a radical nature.
500 years shot to hell.
Not to worry! Gay marriage will cure what ails them.
I disagree. The decline of Europe started about the same time as birth control, abortion and massive liberalism.
The same demographic problem that Europe faces is also faced by America. The native US population is below the replacement rate in fertility. For American whites, it is well below the replacement rate. This is true in all of the industrialized countries of the world, from Europe through Russia to Japan. There aren't any exceptions, and what it tells us is that there is something lethal about the structure of modern industrial economy for its native population.
Fertility below the replacement rate means that a nation will depopulate, and depopulation, once it begins, occurs at the same geometric proportions that growth does (and for the same reasons), unless something causes people to dramatically reverse the fertility decline and start having 4 children per couple on average (do please note that, since children come only in whole units, a replacement rate of 2.2 children per couple means that most couples have to have THREE children, not two, just to meet the replacement rate for the country. To reverse depopulation, many, many more people would have to start having FOUR or MORE children, and this is considered economically impossible to most middle class people across the industrialized world, the US included).
So, the whole industrialized world including the US is depopulating with regards to its native population. And yet a handful of those countries are increasing in population overally, specifically the US, France and the UK.
They do so through massive immigration.
In each case, the immigration brings with it new problems, in particular a problem of political stability and the preservation of the existing country.
In the United States, it is very difficult to see how a rapidly expanding Spanish-speaking population, tied culturally and by family and language to a neighboring nation that bears strong historical grievances against the US, will simply integrate as Italians and Germans once did.
It is far more likely that the rising Mexican minority, eventually will become a plurality and renegotiate the entire American social contract.
The same issue is at work in France, but with considerably less urgency, because the North African population in France is smaller as a proportion of the total, there is no land border, and France has become quite aggressive about stopping illegal immigration. Also, the French are much more willing to impose cultural norms on children in school, and to outright forbid the expression of ideas considered hostile to the Republic. In France, a movement of Arabs who vocally sought the conquest and conversion of France to Sharia would be prosecuted. In the US, there is a strong Reconquista movement that makes no bones about its intent to repopulate the American southwest with Mexicans, and to cause the primary loyalty of that region of the United States to formerly transfer back to Mexico.
Indeed, the eventual threat to the national TERRITORIAL integrity is considerably greater in the United States than in France, when all is considered. However, the degree to which there is a threat of actual national dismemberment is very much ignored by Americans at the present time.
"Ever since 1498, after Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope"
I think one his descendants, Fiasco da Gama, is the captain of the good ship Europa.
Oh come now, don't start dragging the good name De Gama down. Why if Europe had the kind of leadership it used to, with its crusaders and explores, instead of the democratically elected mediocrities it has now, we would not be talking about any kind of western decline.
Old Europe's current crisis is a crisis of spirit and belief far more than it is a crisis of economy. I don't believe it's yet at the point where it's irreversible, but it's getting dangerously close. The next generation will be absolutely critical, but Europe has faced a crisis such as this in the distant past and recovered once before.
All possible because of a previous decline in religion.
Yes, probably should have left it in the 'change is constant mode'.
"Italy permits dual citizenship."
Can you summarize the requirements?
You are correct. Europe has a head start on the fall.
The bright spot is that the illegal immigrants here are Hispanic Christians. In Europe they are Arab Muslims.
In Japan, syndicates control prices of everything. Melons cost $40 or so, people live in tiny apartments, real estate is ridiculously expensive, and thus their standard of living, after looking at relative costs, is lower than that of the average American.
In Europe, things aren't as expensive as in Japan, but they're still more expensive than in the states. Gasoline costs over $5.00 per gallon. Real estate is, for the most part, more expensive. Taxes are higher. And then there's the little things. Store hours aren't as good, customer service isn't as good.
In Africa, life pretty much sucks for everyone, but not because of high prices. Latin America is a bit better, but not that much.
Australia looks decent, but I've never been there. Any country is probably fine if you're loaded, but I'm talking about if you're say at the 80th percentile. Would you really want to live anywhere except the US, except for a limited period of time?
Middle class families only have two children because they can only afford to send two to college. They have no desire to be put in the position of performing socioeconomic triage on their own children.
"Middle class families only have two children because they can only afford to send two to college. They have no desire to be put in the position of performing socioeconomic triage on their own children."
Right you are.
And when most people have only two children, a nation is in a demographic death spiral.
So, how can the middle classes be encouraged to have more children?
Assuming that college expense drives this in the US, three ways:
(1) Make college cheaper
(2) Allow people to keep more of their money, so that they could afford to send a third child to college.
(3) Make a college degree less important for hiring and high income jobs.
(1) can only be accomplished by the state shouldering some of the burden of college costs, since places like Harvard are not going to cut expenses, and landlords are not going to cut rents for college students.
(2) can only be accomplished by DRAMATICALLY cutting taxes, but that would entail a dramatic cut in what government does which may not be democratically sustainable.
(3) would require employers and holders of capital, who themselves are probably holders of degrees and advanced degrees, to hire outside of their own academic milieu, and trust their own abilities to train people without college educations to do what they want them to do.
(3) is by far the cleverest.
The wages of non-college educated workers relative to college educated workers have plummetted during the period in which (surprise!) middle class birth rates dropped. The glut of college graduates in the 60s reduced the value of a liberal arts degree to what had been that of a high school diploma a year before.
Another baleful result of such degree inflation is saddling young people with tens of thousands of dollars in debt when they could be starting families. Debts that will not be paid off until they start making real money in their thirties.
So we see two demographically destructive results of the demand for a college diploma for a good job.
1. Causing middle class families to limit the number of children they have to those they can afford to send to college.
2. Forcing young professionals to defer marriage and childrearing until they are out of debt and thus reducing their reproductive years to a brief 30-35 window.
Somewhat the same in Isreal. The "modern" jews don't want children and so are decreasing. The religious or "Hessitic" jews have huge families and so are growing VERY rapidly.
Typical lefty. Anyone who disagrees with their world view is 'irrational'.
Samuelson is quoting other pundits, but that view isn't his own.
Like most good economists, he's a libertarian.
This is about 90 years too late. The end of Europe began in August 1914. In the ensuing 30 years of war, depression and war, the material and cultural resources assembled in the previous centuries were largely destroyed.
Oswald Spengler's "The Decline of the West" was published in 1922.
An excerpt --
The future of the West is not a limitless tending upwards and onwards for all time towards our presents ideals, but a single phenomenon of history, strictly limited and defined as to form and duration, which covers a few centuries nd can be viewed and, in essentials, calculated from available precedents. With this enters the age of gigantic conflicts, in which we find ourselves today. It is the transition from Napoleonism to Caesarism, a general phase of evolution, which occupies at least two centuries and can be shown to exist in all Cultures. The Chinese call it Shan-Kwo, the "period of the Contending States." In the Gracchan revolution, which was already [133 B.C.] heralded by a first Servile War, the younger Scipio was secretly murdered and C. Gracchus openly slain---the first who as Princeps and the first who as Tribune were political centers in themselves amidst a world become formless. When, in 104 B.C. the urban masses of Rome for the first time lawlessly and tumultuously invested a private person, Marius, with Imperium, the deeper importance of the drama then enacted is comparable with that of assumption of the mythic Emperor-title by the ruler of Ch'in in 288 B.C..
The place of the permanent armies as we know them will gradually be taken by professional forces of volunteer war-keen soldiers; and from millions we shall revert to hundreds of thousands. But ipso facto this second century will be one of actually Contending States. These armies are not substitutes for war---they are for war, and they want war. Within two generations it will be they whose will prevails over all the comfortables put together. In these wars of theirs for the heritage of the whole world, continents will be staked---India, China, South Africa, Russia, Islam called out, new technics and tactics played and counter-played.... The last race to keep its form, the last living tradition, the last leaders who have both at their back, will pass through and onward, victors.
The idealist of the early democracy regarded popular education as enlightenment pure and simple---but it is precisely this that smooths the path for the coming Caesars of the world. The last century [the 19th] was the winter of the West, the victory of materialism and scepticism, of socialism, parliamentarianism, and money. But in this century blood and instinct will regain their rights against the power of money and intellect. The era of individualism, liberalism and democracy, of humanitarianism and freedom, is nearing its end. The masses will accept with resignation the victory of the Caesars, the strong men, and will obey them. Life will descend to a level of general uniformity, a new kind of primitivism, and the world will be better for it.....
That's just it. I can't name one place that isn't. Not one.
Standing and cheering here in my underware ....