17 November 2004

Down a Rabbit Hole

This Daily Kos entry has the crux of the story, but it's worth reading the whole article at Salon about how Europe is not only poised to deliver economic woe to the US, not only are they pissed about how we returned an idiot to power, but they've also surpassed us in every measurable quality of life category. They are openly planning to replace us as the world's dominant superpower.

A few key factoids for you to chew on:
European children are consistently better educated; the United States would rank ninth in the EU in reading, ninth in scientific literacy, and 13th in math. Twenty-two percent of American children grow up in poverty, which means that our country ranks 22nd out of the 23 industrialized nations, ahead of only Mexico and behind all 15 of the pre-2004 EU countries.

Europe has surpassed the United States in several high-tech and financial sectors, including wireless technology, grid computing and the insurance industry. The EU has a higher proportion of small businesses than the U.S., and their success rate is higher. American capitalists have begun to pay attention to all this. In Reid's book, Ford Motor Co. chairman Bill Ford explains that the company's Volvo subsidiary is more profitable than its U.S. manufacturing operation, even though wages and benefits are significantly higher in Sweden. Government-subsidized healthcare, child care, pensions and other social supports, Ford says, more than make up for the difference.

Why that rotten commie, Ford Motor Company!!

But wait, there's more:
[The overlong EU constitution] should serve as an inspiration to progressives around the world. It bars capital punishment in all 25 [EU] nations and defines such things as universal healthcare, child care, paid annual leave, parental leave, housing for the poor, and equal treatment for gays and lesbians as fundamental human rights. Most of these are still hotly contested questions in the United States; this document all by itself makes the European Union the world leader in the human rights debate. It is the first governing document that aspires to universality, "with rights and responsibilities that encompass the totality of human existence on Earth."

Tell me again why I should stick around the US and wait for the inevitable fall?

I hope the red states choke on their French toast.

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