Information Related to "Where is America headed?"
Not so long ago liberal commentators in the United States spoke of the European economic success in glowing terms - indicating that social democracy works.
They praised the European dream of collective responsibility and worldwide consciousness-leading to a better tomorrow for mankind. They also intoned about the European guide to better capitalism-really as much socialism as the market could bear. One or two liberal observers were even asking Americans if they were born on the wrong continent.
Yet recent events have shown these views to be somewhat embarrassing. Gideon Rachman wrote in the Financial Times: "The normal processes of democracy in Italy and Greece had been unequal to the economic crisis. The European Union's repeated failure to find a solution to the debt crisis-and so secure the future of the euro-illustrated that pan-European politics were working no better than the national variety" ("Our Age of Mounting Indignation," Dec. 30, 2011).
Historically the Europeans who immigrated to the new world for a better life have since established their own methods in the political and economic fields. The American way of life has a brand all its own, including its take on capitalism. Though far from reaching the ideal, overall it has proved more economically successful than the more planned and regulated economies of other nations.
Yet there can be little doubt that the present American administration favors the European social model. So will the European model then become the dominant force in the United States?
Certainly President Obama has challenged traditional U.S. economic strategy and tactics-seeking to "spread the wealth" by taxing the rich, increasing government spending and initiating costly social programs such as his new, much more pervasive health-care legislation, and his recent rejection of the proposed oil pipeline between Canada and Texas (which would have added tens of thousands more jobs). A Wall Street Journal editorial stated: "Obama has done nearly everything he wanted. That's the problem" ("The State of His Policies," Jan. 26, 2012).
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Keywords: European model democratic socialism Obama socialism social democracy