Saturday, June 18, 2005

What To Do With a Broken Europe

Robert J. Samuelson says that Europe is broken:

Europe as we know it is slowly going out of business. Since French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed constitution of the European Union, we've heard countless theories as to why: the unreality of trying to forge 25 E.U. countries into a United States of Europe; fear of ceding excessive power to Brussels, the E.U. capital; and an irrational backlash against globalization. Whatever their truth, these theories miss a larger reality: Unless Europe reverses two trends -- low birthrates and meager economic growth -- it faces a bleak future of rising domestic discontent and falling global power. Actually, that future has already arrived.

Let me just say that this post on a Tim Blair comment seems appropriate:

These primitive countries should be busted down to component form and sold for spare parts.

Seriously, Samuelson says we need a prosperous Europe for our own sake. And he paints a bleak picture for Europe's hopes for reversing these trends with their current outlook. I agree, in part. Somebody with money has to buy our stuff and outside of Europe the customers aren't all that thick on the ground. And it would be good to have Europeans strong enough to be allies--if they want to be allies, of course.

But I hope that European states will be prosperous and not some united Europe. Europeans can be our allies. Europe, I think, cannot be our ally.