Sunday, March 13, 2005

At last, some honesty!

Eurochambres, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce, has announced an incredibly blunt report which claims that in economic terms Europe is 20 years behind the US (via Tim Blair).
The incredible thing is that in a whole number of critical indicators it will take Europe decades to catch up even if there is serious reform. However it is glaringly obvious to any observer of current attempts at economic reform that they are going nowhere. In Germany, France and Italy, just to name a few, in the past months timid legislative efforts were consistently watered down, and whole areas in urgent need of serious discussion (such as pension reform, and the flexibility of labor markets) aren't even brought up.
Reform will only be possible when the European population recognizes the shortcomings and inefficiencies in their economic systems. As many of these problems have been addressed in the US, it would be a good example to follow. However, until the media in Europe (with the tacit and active consent of the educated elites, who should know better) give the masses the patently false impression of the US system as inhuman and cruel, these self-same elites will be hard-pressed to find political support to save the European ship from sinking evermore behind.
The question is, how far must Europe sink before it can muster the strength and will-power to do something?

No comments: