Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Is Europe a utopia?

A comment left by Rightardia on a previous post reads:

One could argue that a function of government is to regulate capitalism. This appears to be an essential function of government after the financial meltdown in the US. It is clear that capitalism needs to regulated and the 'invisible hand of free enterprise' frequently needs to be rapped on its knuckles.'

As usual, this oft-parroted cliche conveniently leaves quite a bit out. But never mind that for now. We've got some myths to destroy.

The Europeans have a more equitable system than in the US. Europeans are now taller, healthier and happier than Americans. You can call it socialism, people-ism or the welfare state. The European approach to government is more humane than the bad deal Republicans have been offering the average American.

Is this true? Is Europe a utopia in comparison to the US? Well, not exactly.

Should we copy Europe? by Walter Williams
Learning from the failing European welfare states
Sweden: Poorer than you think, by William Anderson
Europe vs. America
Europe's Recession Prompts New Look at Welfare Costs, by Roger Cohen*
Beyond those health care numbers, by Greg Mankiw
A little health care history, by Lee
New Evidence on Gun Control II: The British Experience, by Paul Craig Roberts

*This article is from the early 90's!

Last but not least, we might ask why Europeans are rejecting leftist parties at the moment. Maybe they just don't realize how good they have it?

All statistical and empirical evidence has its share of pit-falls. But since ideas like "freedom" and "civil liberties" are obviously not going to persuade statists, empirical evidence is sometimes necessary.

None of this is not, of course, to defend the current system in the United States, but Europe clearly has its own share of problems and unintended consequences.


  1. Is Europe a Utopia? XD

    I know America is descending into tyranny too, but at least over there you are armed. As for us Brits on the other hand...as one of those witty pro-gun posters says, we 'will have to settle for extra vaseline'. Eugh.

    I wish people who say capitalism is flawed, as I used to, would just take a look at how a central bank operates and how today's monetary system works. The invisible hand isn't part of the problem to begin with; it's the invisible pickpocket also known as inflation of the money supply.

  2. Europe is far from a Utopia. Far. It annoys me to listen to people here in North America continuously cite Europe as an example. They have their own path to follow.

  3. I'll let you know what I think after my trip there.

  4. Don't get me wrong; I love Europe. I've said before that I would live in Great Britain if I was able to find a job there.

    But the facts speak for themselves. The United States easily outperforms Europe on quite a few economic measures.


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