The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Europeans face deep economic and social pressures

Dateline: Vannes, France

The EU has been smacked with a one-two punch of bad, though not unexpected, news. First, an EU economic report released yesterday has found that the current batch of retirees will soak up vast quantities of the continents wealth for the next fifty years. As populations dwindle, this means that either taxes will have to be raised by 40%, destroying the meager economic growth the continent has been managing, or raising retirement ages and lowering benefits, which would require political will and bravery that few around these parts seem to have the stomach for. In a second report issued this week, the EU released economic data that shows worse than expected results in the latest quarter with France and Germany managing only .01% growth as oil prices rise and a strong Euro dampens exports. What does all this mean? The quality of life on the continent is on the decline with no end in sight. Prices are rising so quickly that middle class Europeans are slipping into poverty and opting out of starting families. This will, in the long run, further erode economic and social stability as Europe looks to immigration to prop up its failing socialist systems. Mass immigration is seen as a necessary evil in a post 9/11 world where many fear that the influx of foreign workers will ultimately be the death knell for the cultural identities of the European states.
The Freeman's Burden is deeply hopeful that with Arafat gone, a more responsible Palastinean leadership will now take the tough descisions necessary to achieve a viable and peaceful state, but I am not holding my breath.


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