"Some have suggested I want to abandon Europe's social model," Blair told the European Parliament last month. "But tell me: what type of social model is it that has 20 million unemployed in Europe, productivity rates falling behind those of the United States; that is allowing more science graduates to be produced by India than by Europe; and that, on any relative index of a modern economy -- skills, R&D, patents, IT -- is going down not up."Welcome to the real world, Tony.
Here are a couple more interesting paragraphs from the UPI report:
Then there is old Europe's demographic time-bomb. The ratio of those in retirement compared to those at work is expected to double from 24 percent today to 50 percent in 2050. This will not only lead to even lower growth rates -- a full percentage point a year according to the European Commission -- but significantly higher spending on pensions and healthcare.Here's more:
"The American dream puts an emphasis on economic growth, personal wealth and independence," he writes. "The new European dream focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life and interdependence." Americans, says Rifkin, live to work, whereas Europeans -- with their six-week vacations and 35-hour working weeks -- work to live. Another fundamental difference is welfare provision. Most Europeans accept high taxes and lower growth as a price to pay for cradle-to-grave social security support, free healthcare and education, subsidized public transport and strict environmental standards, whereas Americans tend to favor low taxes over high government spending.
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