Just got back from “across the pond,” so to speak, and witnessed some of the best of what Europe has to offer. All well and good, but it was damned expensive to do so. Part of this obviously stems from our problems with the dollar. But it doesn’t explain it all. And I couldn’t help noticing that with socialized medicine and other cradle to grave services, with other prices being as high as they are, it came out about even for their citizens when compared with the United States. Yet with a whole lot less freedom in the choices they’re presented with.
Which puts Nancy Pelosi’s comments about the stimulating effects of unemployment benefits in context. We’re moving towards the European model with our health care, and with value-added taxes still a possibility, moving that way in fiscal policy as well. High unemployment, or being “on the dole,” is a fact of life in these countries, and yet many EU economies were stagnant well before September 2008. The sad fact is that extending or increasing the amount of unemployment benefits is a work disincentive. Democrats counter that with five applicants for every one job opening, people are desperately looking for work no matter the quality of the government checks they receive. In essence, they’re saying “it’s different this time.” Where, and how many times, have we heard this before?