Happy VE Day! On 8 May 1945 the Rebanes were in Liederberg - a small German farming village that just a few days ago was firmly brought under the control of Patton’s Third Army (more here) - and ready to be carted off to Augsburg and four years of internment in post-war displaced persons camps. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world the battle for Okinawa was raging with Marine and Army divisions locked in a no-quarter-given combat with Japanese forces that had only one mission, die as slowly as possible while killing as many Americans as possible. Okinawa was bigger than D-Day, but in America people were too busy celebrating Hitler’s downfall to notice. That August the world would again change.
Newly elected Hollande promised to tax France to growth and balanced budgets. And the French believed him. Now nothing like that will happen, but what the hell, the French could frolic in the streets for a couple of days before they double down on their loudly proclaimed misery. The French government's spending already accounts for more than 50% of the country’s GDP and it doesn’t generate any wealth. All it is capable of doing is buying votes with tribute exacted from its private sector whose top marginal tax rates are now going to go above 70%. The same silly people there as here believe that someone will actually risk their euros to build/expand businesses from which, if successful, the government will leave them 30 cents of every euro they earn.
Some writers view this latest installment of socialist failure in Europe as a golden opportunity for America (here). They argue that America will be the only place left in the world for entrepreneurial and investment opportunity. To me it seems that not everyone is paying attention to what Team Obama has accomplished, and what more they have in store for us should they win in November. America’s crosshairs are focused squarely on being able to replicate the European toilet economy. And some independents on this side of the Pond still ask, ‘why would we do that?’
The answer is that the socialist on both shores see none of this going on in Europe. The EU and its subsequent eurozone are instead seen as triumphs in governance. Happy dancing in the streets as national healthcare systems go broke, retirement ages are lowered (Hollande will return France to 60 from 62), endless vacations at every turn, can’t-get-fired jobs, minimum wages pushed above $20/hr, austerity measures reversed (no more spending cuts), … what’s there not to like?
No one there or here remembers nor has been taught that when governments have taken over the means of creating the country’s wealth, they have created the sorriest places for human existence on earth. It has always started with taxing the bejeesus out of ‘the rich’, until everyone who earned a private paycheck found themselves suddenly designated as ‘the rich’.
This is also graduation season and our colleges are in the process of disgorging another million or so of young people (the entire US education system releases 4.3M onto the economy each year). They are of the 'Me Generation', and the great part of them will land in the job market without marketable skills, and dumber than the proverbial 2x4 with a face painted on it. Bret Stephens in the 8may12 WSJ writes the Class of 2012 a sobering letter; it begins –
Allow me to be the first one not to congratulate you. Through exertions that—let's be honest—were probably less than heroic, most of you have spent the last few years getting inflated grades in useless subjects in order to obtain a debased degree. Now you're entering a lousy economy, courtesy of the very president whom you, as freshmen, voted for with such enthusiasm. Please spare us the self-pity about how tough it is to look for a job while living with your parents. They're the ones who spent a fortune on your education only to get you back— return-to-sender, forwarding address unknown.