Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

How Bad is “European”?

L.A. Times

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been, as have other GOP candidates, castigating President Obama for presumably wanting to “Europeanize” the United States. On January 6, 2012, for example, Romney asserted that the President was “dragging ‘the soul of America’ toward a ‘European-style welfare state’.” Romney and others have accused the President of loving America too little and loving Europe too much. One question that this line of criticism raises (whether it does or it does not correctly reflect Obama’s views) is: What’s so bad about Europe?

In this post, I compare life for Americans to life for Europeans on a variety of dimensions. To simplify matters, let us look just at the U.S., Sweden (the country that most represents to Americans the European welfare state), and a large nation that conservatives also dislike, France. And then, let’s ask how the three nations stack up. Perhaps there are some things European that America might actually want to emulate. (I drafted this post before recent columns on the Europe question by Nicholas Kristof and by E.J. Dionne — both worth reading.)


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