For decades, Europeans have looked down their collective elitist noses at us “unsophisticated” Americans. Trailing longingly in their wake, American Leftist elitists kept lecturing the rest of us rednecks that we just didn’t understand how much better life would be if we would just come to our senses and let them steer us into becoming more like the “enlightened” Europeans. After all, “we are the ONLY industrial nation that doesn’t have free healthcare”, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum!
We are constantly lectured that we spend “too much” on the military and other “cowboy” enterprises, while the sophisticated Europeans spend their money on “essential services” which create cradle-to-grave dependency. How about this one? “We are only 5% of the world’s population, but we use 70% of its resources”
A few things get overlooked in this line of argument: the response to the 5% population canard is that the US also produces about 60% of the world’s industrial output. The rest of the rebuttal is handled extremely well as usual by Jonah Goldberg in this article:
The main point is this:
But I think the debate misses something. We can’t become Europe unless someone else is willing to become America.
Look at it this way. My seven-year-old daughter has a great lifestyle. She has all of her clothes and food bought for her. She goes on great vacations. She has plenty of leisure time. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t look at her and feel envious of how good she’s got it compared to me. But here’s the problem: If I decide to live like her, who’s going to take my place?
Europe is a free-rider. It can only afford to be Europe because we can afford to be America.
Europeans can afford to spend 5% or less on defense because we have defended them for nearly 60 years. They can afford to cap drug prices at unreasonably low levels because we do the lion’s share of R&D for new medicines anyway. They can impose their socialist medical systems because the US is always available as a safety valve.
Now that Obama and his cronies are forcing us all to become more like Europe, who will take America’s place?
The free ride is over!