Friday, May 14, 2010

Europe! Yeah, That's The Way to Go

By Barry Rubin

Steven Hill is the director of the Political Reform Program at the New America Foundation, President Barack Obama's favorite think tank. I guess this means he's in charge of saying how America should change itself.

So it must be significant that this week he publishes a new book: Europe's Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age.

Hm, is this the best moment to be openly advocating that the United States become more like Europe? I mean, with Greece and all, plus lots of other problems. Also, a large portion of the "European Way" is to let the United States pay the defense bills and guard its security.

Perhaps someone should write a book entitled America's Promise: Why the American Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age. Then, U.S. government officials could talk about the book, the State Department could distribute it in foreign lands. People in different countries would look with longing at American success and say, "Why can't we do that here?"

European leaders would say: Hey! Less government regulation, lower government spending, and more free enterprise delivers higher productivity, more freedom, and better living standards.

Why should the "new America" look like the old Europe? Isn't one of the main reasons for this being an insecure age is precisely because of the ideas contained in the "European way"?

Some think the exact opposite way:

Barack Obama, April 3, 2009, Strasbourg, France: "In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

So is now the time for America to be humble and copy a less successful model?

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