Will wonders never cease. I’m surprised this got past the NYT censors.
Via Michael Walsh at Big Government.
Credit where credit is due: in this case, this story by Steven Erlanger of the New York Times:
“Across Western Europe, the “lifestyle superpower,” the assumptions and gains of a lifetime are suddenly in doubt. The deficit crisis that threatens the euro has also undermined the sustainability of the European standard of social welfare, built by left-leaning governments since the end of World War II.
Europeans have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its national health care systems and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism.
Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella. They have also translated higher taxes into a cradle-to-grave safety net. “The Europe that protects” is a slogan of the European Union.
But all over Europe governments with big budgets, falling tax revenues and aging populations are experiencing rising deficits, with more bad news ahead.
With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The countries are trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits and pensions.”
……I don’t want to spoil the fun by listing the bad news; that’s Erlanger’s job. But having lived in Europe for a good deal of my life, let me just say this news doesn’t exactly comes as a shock to those of us who spent many hours being lectured in Parisian cafes, German beer gardens, English and Irish pubs, Hungarian nightclubs and Russian gangster hangouts about the superiority of the European way of life over the savagery of the States.
Nothing cures the illusions of a socialist nanny state like a swift kick in the ass from economic reality. Right now, Europe is getting its collective ass kicked.
Still think Obama’s “spread the wealth” crap is such a good idea?