Friday, August 19, 2005

Europe Stagnation - Steyn

So you want zero population growth? Then move to the former East Germany. They have negative population growth! Negative growth costs. And there are fewer people to pay, so the costs can't be spread and hit the dwindling few very hard. Cost more? Listen to Mark Steyn interviewed by Hugh Hewitt:
You know, East German towns have been emptying, depopulating so fast that the sewer systems don't run properly. They've had to spend know, when people talk about spending money on infrastructure, we normally think it means building bigger and more efficient...bigger, modern sewer systems, that can cope with more. Here they're actually having to dig them up and make the pipes smaller to enable them to flow. I mean, this isn' know, we worry about sustainable growth. Europe has to cope with sustainable lack of growth.
This is just one example of the costs that the people of Europe have to face - they haven't yet.
Well, I think you're in one of these situations where the people aren't quite ready to swallow the bitter medicine. So if you say to them, are you prepared to have fewer paid vacations per year, you know, these paid holidays that seem extraordinary to Americans, where you basically gets weeks and weeks off each year, paid for by your employer, they're not yet ready to give those up. They're not yet ready to give up the cradle to grave welfare. And the question is, how much of this bitter medicine are they prepared to swallow? Or do they want to push it even further to breaking point, because they've got terrible, terrible difficulties ahead of them.
Yes, he said "push it to the breaking point." I don't take any pleasure in Europe's stagnation getting worse. But for the Europeans' derision of the backward United States, we are dealing with growth; they have no growth and aging populations that expect to work short hours and retire early. It's going to break. I prefer the problems of growth. Steyn's web site.

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