Europe in Decline

#2
Depends on your outlook - To me Europe is becoming much more adaptive to globalization than America for example, who tend to try and westernise other countries and cultures, creating an imperial culture rather than mix them so that the outcome is a diluted cocktail of all diversities.

Is the European economy going into decline? Give it a few years when dependancy on other countries starts to play a more vital role, then ask that question again. My guess is while we won't be at the top we'll certainly not be at the bottom as he suggests.
 
#4
Or a refusal to admit that American foreign policy in the last few years may have led to this?
 
#5
A lot of American policy wonks, commentators, Neo-Cons etc are cacking themselves (wrongly IMO) about the "coming superpowers", India, China etc, and they find relief by projecting their insecurities onto "Europe", which - in their minds - only exists by virtue of American largesse, "sacrifice" etc.. They don't like to be told this (see Military.com !!!), but it seems to me that American carping/ gloomy prognostications/ gleeful (manic?!) derision/ paranoia etc re "Europe" tells the rest of us a lot more about them than it does about us. Watch for reactions to this...!!
 
#7
AndyPipkin said:
Interesting idea that European anti-americanism increases as Europe's relative power declines.
Should we be anything but? As a country they believe they can take what they want, when they want.

Another argument is why are Americans so set on proving they're stronger than their allies? They've begun to believe their own hype, never mind I'll sit back in my European helplessness and bite my tongue when China take over as the leading economy when Americas external resources start to dry up. Oh no wait I forgot America's methodology - they will claim what's China's is theirs and what's theirs is theirs too... :roll: Oh but then of course America did it all themselves...
 
#8
Sorry, you've lost me.

You guys seem to be talking about the Europe that is economically competitive, entrepreneurial, dynamic in innovation, excelling in R&D, non-bureaucratic, low unemployment and open to new ideas!

where does this europe exist again?
 
#9
AndyPipkin said:
Wessex - except it's the Europeans who are worrying, not the US.

Good analysis, wrong conclusion here:
Instead of another link how about giving your opinion. Start by rating Europe on it's own not compared to other economies.
 
#11
Have read "Federalist" article: precisely the sort of smug, self-deluded bunkum that will ultimately result in American humiliation somewhere on a major scale. Seems to me the author has a deluded notion of the "cultural state" of many parts of the USA, but then "preppies" have always struck me as notably up themselves, and - frankly - plain fukcin' thick: these are the people who run the State Dept, Wall St, Dept of Defense etc, and they make our Oxbridge "mandarins" look quite brilliant by comparison. Never forget - although most Americans don't get this (having bought all that "ho-down, hot dang, wang leather, I'm a Texan oilman" bullshit) that the Shrub is one of these people.
 
#12
No country is innocent but the difference is the decisions made and the actions taken, even the level of responsiblity they claim over the consequences.
 
#13
It seems to me that they have also forgotten the single most salient point in the argument about economic or population statistics of Europe and America.

One of the primary reasons that European stats are so shoddy at the moment are the former eastern bloc countries joining Europe with poor economic situations, high unemployment and so on. Although it is currently true that the majority of these economies are in a pretty bad state, it is also true that, in the majority of cases, they are gradually evolving well.The Polish and Baltic states are routinely sending their young professionals and students to study western European (primaril British) methods of business. Although others, such as Croatia or Hungary, are still too corrupt or unformed for decent levels of investment, they have taken home this message and are making substantial efforts to change. We always knew that it would take a long time for these economies to reach levels where they can play with the big boys but it will happen and I suspect that we will suddenly find the statistics swinging heavily back in our favour as they stop being a drain on Europe and start competing heavily with financial centres.
 
#14
Shortage in some vital resources is a weak point of American economy. Also we can add very high cost of work-force. Huge state debt is a tcking bomb. Trade deficit is too big - clear indication of unhealthy state of economy. Huge defense (or attack?) spendings are rising faster than the whole economy. Blackouts, shortage of electiricity (blood of economy) in California and other regions show that USA suffer from economical anemia. Racial problems, high level of criminal, 2mln. prisoners affect living standards.

But at whole US is a world economical leader, powerful state with advanced science and excellent prospects for future development.

Contradiction? Not at all. Both USA and EU have own problems and strong points (existence of Russia with huge natural resorces is rather advantage of EU).

My main point. If an article uses only black colour then you can use facts from it but not conclusions.
 
#15
The single biggest problem Europe faces is its declining birthrate. Evedrything else can be overcome one way or another, but without enough kids today, the future is pretty grim.
 

RP578

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#16
Wessex_Man said:
A lot of American policy wonks, commentators, Neo-Cons etc are cacking themselves (wrongly IMO) about the "coming superpowers", India, China etc, and they find relief by projecting their insecurities onto "Europe", which - in their minds - only exists by virtue of American largesse, "sacrifice" etc.. They don't like to be told this (see Military.com !!!), but it seems to me that American carping/ gloomy prognostications/ gleeful (manic?!) derision/ paranoia etc re "Europe" tells the rest of us a lot more about them than it does about us. Watch for reactions to this...!!
Spotty dog mate, like wise your take on the Preppie Brahmins that make up the Beltway establishment. Have lived and worked in the US and came across this type often.
The depth of their delusions make the Marianas Trench look like a crack in the pavement.
 
#17
Stats can be made to look any way you like- a couple of years ago the Honda plant in S Wales was lauded to be the most productive car plant in Europe. They pipped the Germans past the post- 4000 cars a year to 3900 or whatever. Well fecking done. Except the poor sods were working 37 hour weeks to the Germans 29!

However growth does appear to be a problem, its mostly about investment. Growth can be sped up by a number of things, public spending increasing the level of employment, stuff like that but this is all short term and slows down in the end due to inflation etc- I'm sure you don't want 1st year economics thrown at you- but with investment growth can be sustained without nasty side effects. what actually matters is the level education and skills that the workforce has over the next 20 years- thats is the stuff which really charges the economy up- and yes this mean entrepreneurial skills and r&d boffins but this hardly stuff which can be changed by skipping lunch and working yourself to death.

I'm sure that the cultural curiosity of being in fear of not getting healthcare if you lose your job may inspire you to be entepreneurial and work hard, and you may never see Sweden on the most influential/most productive list of countries, but they sure are happy not being there- and I know which country i'd rather live in. The article is in the best tradition of 'aren't we great?' journalism but it has a few good points, its just a pity it ignores the other gaping problems in that model of economy; lack of society, lack of oppurtunity to sections of the nation, gross inequality etc- I'm no socialist- but theres no way I'm that capitalist
 
#18
Having lived in BOTH Europe and the United States, I will say this.
Both societies have strengths, as do their economies. Both are "mature" in the economic developement, so they will now appear to be falling back in relation to the Emerging economies.
The National Debt of the USA is Immense, as is the level of Personal Borrowing too. This WILL have an effect sooner or later, unless the USA is able to beat the lessons of the past and escape with a ahistorical outcome.
As to Birth rates, the United States has benifited from prolonged and huge emmigration, to keep the labour pool fuller than would have been otherwise the case. (Interestingly though "Anglos" in the USA have low birth rates too BTW)
As to "Social Compact", welkl it may be fair to say that there is not one in the European sense of the term. That aside most Americans do not WANT one, whether they know what they do not want is another matter. As a point of example, I have access to unrivalled medical care for my two boys. That though is simply because I have Health Insurance. The Uninsured in this country (46 Million of 266 I think) have NO access to acceptable health care.
So in a phrase. "America is a Great place to be if you have money", while Europe is just "a great Place to be"?
 
#19
Wessex_Man said:
A lot of American policy wonks, commentators, Neo-Cons etc are cacking themselves (wrongly IMO) about the "coming superpowers", India, China etc, and they find relief by projecting their insecurities onto "Europe", which - in their minds - only exists by virtue of American largesse, "sacrifice" etc.. They don't like to be told this (see Military.com !!!), but it seems to me that American carping/ gloomy prognostications/ gleeful (manic?!) derision/ paranoia etc re "Europe" tells the rest of us a lot more about them than it does about us. Watch for reactions to this...!!
The author of that article is actually a big India booster (he's an indian immigrant) and has a certain animus towards britain as the old colonial power.
 
#20
tigerbaby said:
Depends on your outlook - To me Europe is becoming much more adaptive to globalization than America for example, who tend to try and westernise other countries and cultures, creating an imperial culture rather than mix them so that the outcome is a diluted cocktail of all diversities.
So when the map was pink we Brits didn't do that? The USA is acting as all hegemonic states have done - arrogantly - and is using its strength after the collapse of the bipolar system to export its values, beliefs and brand-names across the globe. Cultural imperialism is nothing new, the difference is that in today's climate of global communication and mass media, it appears more "in your face". With the collapse of the Soviet Union, previously Soviet-aligned nations have had to take their begging bowls to a new 'king' whilst previously non-aligned states are no longer able to play the Superpowers off against each other, receiving crumbs from both tables, thus are also more visibly dependent upon the USA.

With reference to the concept of globalisation, of course Europe is more adapted - in fact I'd argue that it's less adapted, rather evolved. The countries of Europe developed global trading and banking whilst building their empires and have historically been interventionist. The USA is newer to the game and as a result of both geographical and ideological isolation, their wielding of the 'power stick' has been more than a little clumsy at times, however the problem is that whilst Europe is probably more intellectually open to the concept of globalisation than the USA, the transfer of the base of our economies from manufacturing to service industries has impacted our drive for innovation and excellence, something which the Tiger Economies and the USA have been quick to exploit.

Zakaria said:
It's often noted that the European Union has a combined gross domestic product that is approximately the same as that of the United States. But the EU has 170 million more people. Its per capita GDP is 25 percent lower than that of the U.S. and, most important, that gap has been widening for 15 years.
I take issue with this point because whilst the cold facts are true, the comparison is rather disingenuous as the USA and Europe aren't like-for-like entities and that view doesn't take into account economies of scale. Europe isn't a homogenous group, a single sovereign territory, it is a group of geographically close states whose people have spent hundreds of years in conflict and competition with each other. IF all of the countries that comprise the EU decided to pool their resources and create single centres for excellence, I'm sure that the statistics would look somewhat different, however, my personal opinion is that despite some obvious benefits, creating a super-state of the United States of Europe ISN'T the solution to any woes that Europe might be suffering.

tigerbaby said:
Is the European economy going into decline? Give it a few years when dependancy on other countries starts to play a more vital role, then ask that question again. My guess is while we won't be at the top we'll certainly not be at the bottom as he suggests.
Are we Brits part of the "European economy"? We are part of the EU, but our economy is discrete: we're as open to market forces as the USA but we're not tied into (what I consider to be) the financial abortion that is the Euro and the economic maelstrom of centralised economic planning. The UK has maintained control of its treasury and as such doesn't have to pay for the (un-affordable) social service policies of many of the Mediterranean states and attempt to mitigate against their sluggish economies, as Germany has to. Even Zakaria makes the distinction between wider-Europe and the UK: "Britain is an exception... lying somewhere between Continental Europe and the U.S." so if our political masters make the decision that being tied to the EU is the financial kiss of death, I expect that we'll see another "Black Wednesday"-type decision - at the time seen as shocking, with predictions of the imminent collapse of the British economy, but which, after a wobbly few weeks, proved to be the right thing to do as it stimulated financial growth.
 

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