The American Enterprise

Endangered Europe.(unemployment, economic conditions)

Three decades ago, signs first began to appear that Europe was entering a deep funk. The lands which had birthed Western civilization and devised many of modernity's most critical innovations in science, economics, religion, and the humane arts were suddenly not growing, not producing or pioneering, not innovating as they had in the past.

Continental Europe has gone into an economic stall. And with that, the quality of life of individual households has plateaued. Worse, a depression of the spirit has settled on much of the European population.

What is most troubling is the breadth of the downturn. The graphs and charts on the six pages following document a widespread stagnation. Some of the elements--like the collapse of European population growth--reflect troubles much deeper than policy failure, will be difficult to reverse, and will feed on themselves in a negative spiral.

Some of these graphics were inspired by the data in Olaf Gersemann's very fine book comparing economic trends in the U.S. and Europe--entitled Cowboy Capitalism--which is just now being released in softcover by Cato Books. We have modified and updated many of Gersemann's charts, and added a considerable number of our own which illustrate complementary points.

Be sure, also, to see Gersemann's feature article written for this issue of TAE, which begins on page 24.

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A shrinking will--and chance--to work

One of the simplest and most serious problems in Europe today is that much of the population is not working. …

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