Sunday, March 29, 2009

American Europeanization

Mark Steyn's recent essay at National Review, "Prime Minister Obama: Will European Statism Supplant the American Way?", is the best essay yet on the steamroller to socialism that is the Barack Obama presidency:

Most Americans don’t yet grasp the scale of the Obama project. The naysayers complain, Oh, it’s another Jimmy Carter, or It’s the new New Deal, or It’s LBJ’s Great Society applied to health care. You should be so lucky. Forget these parochial nickel’n’dime comparisons. It’s all those multiplied a gazillionfold and nuclearized — or Europeanized, which is less dramatic but ultimately more lethal. For a distressing number of American liberals, the natural condition of an advanced, progressive Western democracy is Scandinavia, and the U.S. has just been taking a wee bit longer to get there. You’ve probably heard academics talking about “the Swedish model” and carelessly assumed they were referring to the Britt Ekland retrospective on AMC. If only. And, incidentally, fond though I am of Britt, the fact that I can think of no Swedish dolly bird of the last 30 years with which to update that gag is itself a telling part of the problem. Anyway, under the Swedish model, state spending accounts for 54 percent of GDP. In the U.S., it’s about 40 percent. Ten years ago, it was 34 percent. So we’re trending Stockholmwards.

And why stop there? In Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, government spending accounts for between 72 and 78 percent of the economy, which is about the best a “free” society can hope to attain this side of complete Sovietization. Fortunately for what’s left of America’s private sector, “the Welsh model” doesn’t have quite the same beguiling euphony as “the Swedish model.” Even so, if Scandinavia really is the natural condition of an advanced democracy, then we’re all doomed. And by “doomed” I’m not merely making the usual overheated rhetorical flourish in an attempt to persuade you to stick through the rather dry statistics in the next paragraph, but projecting total societal collapse and global conflagration, and all sooner than you think.
Many folks have certainly heard similar warnings of the left's demands for American Europeanization, but Steyn's analysis is so lucid, putting demographic, economic, and globalizing factors into such stark analytical focus, that the argument here must be considered the benchmark by which "Obamunist" arguments are measured.

Read the whole thing,


Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that it is coming out all over the news that even the Europeans think Obama's big spending and internationalist regulations go too far, although that is also very horrifying.