Rediscovering “the Europe of Adam Smith and Tocqueville”

The blue social model is teetering.  Big adjustments are coming – reduced benefits, higher taxes – and it’s just a matter of how controlled the dosages of each cure will be.

Or, we could vote against reality, as Europe has, and choose inflation, default, instability, demographic implosion, and Lord knows what else to follow.

Best case scenario:  we make a better choice yet and their rock bottom is cathartic rather than dangerous.

Victor Davis Hanson in All Fall Down:

Those with capital—slurred as one-percenters, fat cats, and corporate jet owners unless hit up for Obama campaign donations—are not hiring or buying. Maybe they think oncoming Obamacare will smash them. Maybe they see on the Obama horizon rampant inflation, debt cancellation, or higher taxes as planned liberal remedies for our endless borrowing. Maybe these shrugging Atlases see that fossil fuel energy is not pursued on federal lands, but needless new regulations are implemented.

Whatever the reason, they hesitate—only sorta buying here, kinda hiring there. And the result of millions of these collective hesitancies is an ossified Europeanized economy, run by technocrats without private sector experience and exempt from the sacrifice they demand of others, as they desperately try to borrow and grow the government to ensure a permanent lease on power through the creation of a vast angry dependent constituency. Not near-zero interest rates, not nearly a trillion dollars in “stimulus,” not four years of chronic deficits, not “quantitative easing,” not any classical priming seems able to shock the unwilling and hesitant back into action.

In short, liberalism does not work, contrary as it is to human nature. I wish I could just say that about every thirty years or so, forgetful Americans take an allergy shot of it, suffer the reaction, and then get another three decades of Carter/Obama immunity. But instead statist redistribution and intrusion are an insidious process, no longer specific just to Democrats, but bound up in the growing affluence and leisure of the West—both serving its various needs of alleviating guilt to the masses, subsidizing half the nation, and providing much envied power and lucre to a highly educated and technocratic elite who have little talent for acquiring either in the private sector. That it is not sustainable does not mean that it will not cause havoc as it totters and collapses. Look at Russia and Eastern Europe circa 1989, or the present-day EU, or Greece proper, or California or Illinois today.

Arthur Herman in Europe, R.I.P.:

Europe is dying, right along with socialism and Obama-ism. The electionresults yesterday prove that Europe’s voters don’t know they’re committing suicide — or don’t care. The only pertinent question is what will take Europe’s place once its political union, and its worthless currency, both wind up on the ash heap of history…

In one sense, Europeans have no place left to go. They tried fascism and Communism; those proved deadly flops. That left state socialism’s “mixed economy.” The European Union was created in 1992 at the end of the Cold War — a victory, we note, of America’s making, not Europe’s — as a monument to socialism’s ideal of large centralized planned economies and societies. It’s the same ideal Obama and his liberal friends have worshiped for a generation — with only slightly less disastrous results here.

But in spite of Obama’s mountain of debt, reckless government spending, and punitive regulation, America is coming back. We’re the last major capitalist, pro-growth economy on earth, with an energy sector built on shale oil and gas, a reviving advanced manufacturing base, and a wireless and high-tech innovation industry second to none. All it will take is a pro-business president to turn the 21st century into the next American century — and to show how free markets and the private sector can turn around even the most shattered economies…

Who knows. Maybe at the end of all this, Europeans will discover their own culture buried under two centuries of socialist and Marxist garbage: the Europe of Adam Smith and Tocqueville, of von Mises and Hayek, of Aristotle and Aquinas. Maybe they’ll realize their birthright as the original home of liberty and freedom, at long last.

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