Euro-Losers.

Blackleaf
#1
EURO-LOSERS
By RALPH PETERS

April 14, 2006 -- FROM bleeding hearts to anarchist thugs, Western foes of globalization insist it cheats the developing world's poor. Utterly wrong. Thanks to globalization, hundreds of millions of human beings have jobs that lift them upward economically.

Those jobs may not be great ones by French standards, but, from China to Chile, people line up and compete for a chance to work. And they're willing to work very hard to improve their lives - those "bad" jobs are far better than none at all.

Globalization isn't an unmixed blessing - all great changes have victims - but the net results are positive. The great exception isn't Asia or Africa, but Europe (while the Arab world rots, with or without globalization).

Europe built social mansions on economic quicksand. The blindly praised cradle-to-grave welfare systems of states such as France, Germany or Italy worked - barely - as long as Europeans engaged in protectionism at home, while exploiting captive, neo-colonial markets abroad and fostering global corruption.

Even so, Western Europe's generous social-benefits programs were running into economic walls by the 1980s. Then came the IT revolution, globalization and the international triumph of entrepreneurship. Now, under irresistible competitive pressures, socialist systems that long flirted with bankruptcy face a long-term marriage with insolvency.

Who are the winners in a globalizing world? Those willing to adapt, innovate and work hard. Which means, above all, North Americans and East Asians, the English-speaking world and talented individuals who welcome risk. Who loses? Those who cling to the past, who demand privileges without paying for them, who cherish stultifying security above opportunity.

In recent weeks, our own immigrants, legal and illegal, demonstrated for the right to work . Simultaneously, French students marched to prevent the creation of jobs for the less-privileged. Which culture is going to excel?

Now Italians, faced with the worst economic growth rates among Western Europe's major states and a benefits-funding crisis, have voted - narrowly - for a return to a dysfunctional past: leftist economics, the nanny state and the postponement of essential reforms. Outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi didn't change enough. Romano Prodi, his successor and a ghost from the past, promises not to change anything. The election was a vote for cancerous illusions.

Even in Germany, where the population has begun to grasp that reforms are unavoidable, the changes to date have been minimal. A weak coalition government's approach is to delay further trips to the political dentist as long as possible.

Today's Western Europeans, with their impossible expectations, fear of change and allergy to hard work, illustrate the insidious effects of socialism even more sharply than do the populations of failed third-world states. The Europeans, after all, once worked proudly. They had functioning economies that achieved impressive growth rates. They were competitive .

Today, Old Europe's growth is so anemic it's virtually stagnant. Unemployment averages around 10 percent (the rate is under 5 percent in the U.S.). Yet, even that figure's deceptive, since youth unemployment is far higher - 23 percent in France, for example. This means that older workers, protected by law, puff out the employment rolls, but the rising generation isn't being integrated into the workforce. This is Europe's true "lost generation."

Toss in birth rates below the replacement level, and Western Europe seems a dying continent.

Leftist critics of our own system never fail to describe it as inhumane. But is it really more humane to keep young people on the dole - on economic methadone - rather creating jobs? For all its flaws, it's the American system that attracts millions of new workers every year.

There's nothing humane about a system that robs human beings of hope. And that is exactly what Europe's socialism-with-a-reactionary-face does. Give a man or woman a chance, not a government check.

Western Europe has maxed out its credit cards, living larger than its income allows. Yes, the U.S. has a worrisome deficit that must be addressed. But our problems lie well into the future. Europe's problems are here and now.

With unemployed masses, unassimilated and unwelcome immigrant blocks, torpid economies, suffocating taxes, legal codes that discourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and citizen expectations that the state will always provide, Old Europe is going to have trouble competing with India, let alone America.

Europe is a continent in decline. Perhaps the tragedies of the 20th century really did knock the spunk out of it. Certainly, its elevation of social and political theory over reality cripples it severely. And, of course, Europe isn't entirely out of the game - we may expect a long, ornery twilight across the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, the European Union, which was supposed to integrate the continent, has abandoned its continental constitution and recently sanctioned a bevy of national protectionist measures. France and Italy block foreign investment in their remaining successful industries, while voters across the continent choose candidates who promise them that sacrifice can be delayed.

Karl Marx was right: The global revolution is being led by the workers of the world. In thriving capitalist economies, from Shanghai to San Jose. Europe represents the old regime, the threadbare aristocracy. Globalization is the guillotine.

www.nypost.com . . .
 
Hank C
#2
good article
 
Roger
#3
In Globalization, the working class in Canada and the United States are the losers.
 

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