Saturday, May 28, 2016

Musings from Paris

Most everyone in Paris dresses in dark clothing, likely for good reason.  The future here is not bright unless you are installed in the massive bureacracy, a sinecure for life, or you come from wealth.  If you are not one of those, you are flat out of luck.  The same is true pretty much across the European plain.  In some countries, the chickens have already come home to roost -- Greece, and to a lesser extent, Spain and Italy.

The combination of stifling government regulations, enlarged by the Brussels regime of the European union, has all but wiped out innovation and change in the European continent.  Those Americans who believe that this is the best of all worlds should come visit (and listen to European TV).  The problems in the health care system and the fruits of denying economic opportunity to millions of Europeans are displayed daily.

Yes, Europe is great if you're set.  But, it's a disaster if you're not set.

Once free markets are obliterated, which they pretty much are in Europe, those without have no way to join those within.  These societies are totally economically stratified.

This is the direction that those who seek more and more regulations want to take the US.  By and large, those advocating more regulations come from the most comfortable section of the American society.  That's why students at elite colleges are in the forefront of the advocacy for more stifling legislation, aimed at shutting down opportunities for the poor.  Higher minimum wages effectively lock the poor out of any hope of moving into the middle class.

Eventually the politically centrist parties lose their clout as increasing numbers of their constituency realize that there is no hope for themselves.  In the US, that explains a lot of the Trump-Sanders appeal.  If there is no outlet for moving up the ladder because of an overzealous government, then the next step is to move to what appear to be more extreme political alternatives.  The recent vote in Austria is a clear indication of where this is all heading, as the Greeks demonstrated two years ago.

There isn't any path toward opportunity that doesn't include free markets.  There are no historical examples of middle class enlargement without free markets.  The world is rife with examples of entrenched bureaucracies trampling on the opportunities of the less privileged.

It's no wonder that American politics is now dominated by two extremely wealthy partisans -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

If you want to see where this is headed, come to Europe.  To cut to the chase, visit Greece first.

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