Europe Is Warning Us
Victor Davis Hanson
ROME — If Americans think fuel and food prices are high, they should try Europe, where both can nearly double those in the United States — while salaries here are often lower.
Italians, like most now-broke Southern European countries, are desperate to privatize bloated public-owned utilities. Politicians are trying to curb pensions, and to encourage the private sector to hire workers and buy equipment, as a way of attracting wary foreigner parents to lend such perpetual adolescents more bailout money.
In theory, Italians accept that they are going to have to be a lot more like the Germans, and less like the Irish, Portuguese and Spaniards. In fact, they may end up like the Greeks, who are still striking and occasionally rioting because too few foreigners wish to continue subsidizing their socialist paradise. Red graffiti on Italian streets still echoes socialist solidarity, while Italian politicians talk capitalism to foreign lenders.
The European Union, like the 19th-century Congress of Vienna, can point to one achievement — a general absence of war in Western Europe for more than 60 years. Otherwise, almost all its socialist promises of an equality of result are imploding before their eyes.