Europe slides into the poor house
The cause is excessive government spending, including many failed ‘green’ projects
maximizing rates that have only undermined the desire to work, save or invest; and regulations that make no economic sense and are so numerous and complex they only serve to undermine the rule of law.
Europe, as well as other parts of the world, is literally killing itself by not having babies. Most European countries now have fertility rates well below that needed to keep the population stable — forget about growing. A shrinking population adds to the relative burden of taking plants. At the same time, the United States embraced fracking, allowing it to move to cleaner energy (natural gas) and reduce both CO2 emissions and electricity costs.
Modern Europe is the result of the denial of physics, biology and micro-economics by too many politicians and two generations of ignorant voters.
The United States is now growing at more than twice the rate of Europe and is enjoying full employment. In fact, there is no big developed country that is even close to the United States in terms of economic performance. China continues to do well, but despite very rapid economic growth, its per capita income is still less than a fourth of the United States. China has a long way to go — particularly in the modernization of its financial system — which is still largely state-owned.
The main reason the United States looks so good is that Europe looks so bad. Despite its recent success, the United States still could do better. As an American, it is disappointing to see how many U.S. politicians (mainly Democrats) have studied the causes of European stagnation, but are advocating many of the same policies that are destroying Europe. On average, living standards are about one-quarter lower in the EU than in America and unemployment rates are twice as high.
There is nothing inherent in the geography, climate, natural resources or peoples of Europe that keeps them poorer. It is merely a function of bad policies and poor leadership. What Europe, and the U.K. in particular, needs is a new Margaret Thatcher. A person clear-eyed enough to see what needs to be done, and then the toughness and strategic sense to deliver.
There are islands of success within Europe which can serve as good examples. Little, land-locked, resource-poor Switzerland has managed to build a strong economy and a very civil society with the rule of law. The Swiss have even managed to earn a higher per capita income than the United States. If Switzerland can succeed, as it has, then there is no reason the other nations of Europe cannot do equally well. Unemployment rate, % 3.6 3.9