View From a Height: "In his Washington Post column from today, George Will pretty much sums up Europe's Nanny-state infantilization:
It is fine for people who are not French to admire from afar how 'civilized' the French are in cherishing their 'way of life' -- short workweeks, many weeks of vacation, laws 'protecting' labor by making it difficult to fire people. But those laws, by making employers reluctant to hire, help explain France's double-digit unemployment.
Cast a cold eye on this way of life -- this amalgam of desires for increasing affluence and leisure and weight in the world -- and 'civilized' looks like a euphemism for 'childish.' Children are unaware of the costs of things, and the incompatibility of many desires.
Will doesn't say so, but there's no question that 50 years of living under the American defense umbrella, in a world economy powered by American growth, has reduced the western part of the continent to the emotional stage of teenagers: old enough to operate the toys but not to produce or even understand them.
The EU was the means by which the delinquent French, Germans, and Belgians would entice college-bound New Europe to hang out for the summer rather than working.
The truly sad part is that Europe has entrepreneurial talent out that wazoo - just look at cell phones - but that talent is stifled by a system that resents success, especially new success. America has always benefitted by welcoming such people. Perhaps one of our greatest systemic threats is a China that now also does so, combined with a Democratic party that wants to replicate Europe's political culture here."