More Gratuitous France Bashing

Colorado Governor Bill Owens rebuffed a meeting with a French official last week. The contents of his letter are very revealing.

The French seem to think that everything is simply going to blow over between France and the US. I have a feeling the depth of emnity between France and the United States runs a lot deeper than just issues over Iraq. France is trying to make themselves the head of a European superpower, and playing nice with the US only makes that more difficult. What France also does not realize is that very few in Europe like the idea of a Frano-German dominated EU any more than the US does. France is not only in the process of burning bridges with the US, but is also harming the EU in the process.

Not that the EU in its current form is really worth salvaging anyway…

5 thoughts on “More Gratuitous France Bashing

  1. Even if you accept that the EU member states have a better quality of life (which is highly debatable), the system of social benefits and taxation that the EU is pushing is not economically sustainable. As Western Europe stagnates under a burden of high taxes and uncontrolled spending, it is Eastern Europe that is embracing greater economic freedom and becoming the highest region of world growth because of it.

    Capitalism works because it acknowledges economic reality rather than engaging in the foolish game of trying to create a system that meets infinite needs with finite resources.

  2. The collective quality of life in Western Europe is considerably better than that of America. A recent study ranking quality of life in world cities ranked Zurich, Switzerland as #1. The best America could do on the study was #10, and that honor went to the conservative-despised city of San Francisco. Considering that the United States easily has the highest overall wealth of any nation in the world, the numbers of virtually every standard of living survey present appalling proof of how poor of a job we are doing in delegating those resources to best improve our collective culture.

    As for benefits and taxation, the margin of deficits to GDP is not that much different in America (particularly with the elephants back in control on Capitol Hill) than it is in most European countries. The difference is their investment has produced an elaborate network of social services that may not be perfect, but definitely is relative to their high quality of life. In America, our taxation and subsequent deficits have paid for tax relief for those who need it least, an overbloated Pentagon that has misplaced $8,000 for every American alive because of our blank check policy, and bailouts for corporate crooks who bilked taxpayers, some of which have the last name Bush. In the long run, though, Europe and America are both gonna be choking on our deficit spending, although Europe’s deficits have clearly went to more worthy causes.

    The fact that Eastern Europe’s economies are growing faster than Western Europe’s is ultimately irrelevant. It’s much easier to see increases in the “percentage of growth” if you’re at the bottom than the top. If you’re economy is worth $1 million in 2002 and $1.1 million in 2003, that’s 10 percent growth, but if you’re economy is worth $1o million in 2002 and $10.5 million in 2003, that’s only 5% growth. Nonetheless, most people would rather be part of the economy experiencing 5% growth since its larger and would have more opportunities. And clearly nations who, through the policies of civilized economies crafted in the 20th century, dramatically improved their quality of life, will be punished in the global economy for the success. Loosely regulated global capitalism will create the “race to the bottom” effect currently seen across the globe. Eastern Europe’s rise at the expense of Western Europe is another example of this trend, but hardly one to be applauded since the primary beneficiaries are a few corporate giants getting rich off of destructive policy.

    “Capitalism works” Actually, capitalism as you and other Milton Friedman disciples envision it has been a bigger historical failure than Communism. The 20th century was one long hard lesson that capitalism is a fundamentally flawed philosophy at its core, bringing out the worst in the human spirit – greed at one end, and class envy and violent revolt at the other end. Unfortunately for you and your ilk, there’s no expiration date on bad ideas. The same values that failed the world during the Gilded Age and Industrial Revolution a century ago will fail just as badly when applied now. One would think with the brutal conflicts endured by extremism of capitalism, and the corresponding extremism of communism that naturally followed it, policymakers would know better than to go down the same road. I guess not.

  3. You can always tell what cons are frightened of by what they bash (Daschle when he was majority leader, General Clark now, CNN).

    Let’s see, a nuclear power that won’t kiss Bush’s or Sharon’s ass? Bash it.

  4. Funny how an economic argument turns into the mention of nuclear weapons. Talk about non-sequitir. At the the end of the day France and the States have a lot more in common than they do differences. It may take different administration from both camps to patch up. In other words Chirac +Bush does not equal friendly relations.

    Long term thing will not change until two things happen.

    1) France recognizes its new role as a midsized regional power.. and focuses primarily on its tradtional sphere of influence (West, North, and Equatorial Africa). France must accept this relegated role. Great Britain has already done this on the world stage. France and Britain were both toast as world powers after Suez in 56, but only Westminster has admitted this.

    2) After France accepts the new role (gracefully or not), the US must recognize the fact that France has a right to have an independant foreign policy. We can’t expect everyone to be our lapdog like the British are. But I definetly agree that France needs to make the first move. It is not they who currently hold many cards.

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