Europa uber alles

LA Weekly: Features: The American Nightmare

“When Americans think of Europe, frankly we think of a great place to go on vacation and feed our souls. We also think of red tape, creaky bureaucracies, overburdened welfare systems and an aging population. Yes, there’s a germ of truth to all of this. But Americans are completely asleep about the sheer magnitude and scope of the social and cultural experiment going on there. For example, the EU is the third largest governing institution in the world after China and India. It is the biggest economy in the world today. It’s the largest exporting power in the world today, and has the world’s biggest internal market. Sixty-one of the [top 100] companies in the world are European. We lead in many industries, but Americans would be surprised to know that Europeans lead in banking, aerospace, insurance, construction and chemical industries, food distribution, and retail trade. They’re powerful, and the reason we don’t fix on this is because of a context problem. We normally compare individual countries to the U.S. — Germany, France — but now you have to compare Germany to California, and Germany’s economy is much more powerful than California’s. The U.K. has a much more powerful economy than our second largest state, New York, and France is more powerful than Texas, which is the third. What you see when you compare the EU to the U.S. state for state is the enormity of what’s happening.”

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