The EU is built on a fantasy–that men and women can do less and less work, have longer and longer holidays and retire at an earlier age, while having their income, in real terms, and their standard of living increase. And this miracle is to be brought about by the enlightened bureaucratic regulation of every aspect of life.
The EU is a French concept and is still largely run according to French ideas. And France is the archetypal EU country. If you have a regular job in France, your life is, in theory, lyrical. You work 35 hours a week. You generally get four weeks of holiday in August, plus a further three weeks throughout the year, in addition to 11 state holidays. Full medical care is provided, even in retirement. Retirement age varies, but it is now typically 55. Pensions may be two-thirds to three-quarters of a person’s salary at the time of retirement. […]
Americans should count their blessings, above all the supreme blessing of having an economy that is run by businessmen not bureaucrats, or that–under wise governance–runs itself.
Ah yes, thank God we’re ruled by businessmen, those godsends of compassion and competence that brought us economic success stories like Enron and Worldcom and leaders like George W. Bush – an MBA from Yale – who would never mismanage a nation’s finances.
Johnson is obviously right. I notice how standards of living have fallen sharply since the mid-19th century, when a 60 hour work week was the norm and elderly was practically a synonym for indigent. We work so much less now, and we’re so clearly poorer by comparison to our Victorian forebears. And the rule of the business class is clearly just and equitable. Look at how businessmen stood against fascism in the 1930’s and 40’s, never ever collaborating with dictators, and their strong stand against dictators in Latin America and the apartheid regime in South Africa in more recent years. Why even today, we see businessmen refusing to invest in China, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia in protest of the human right situation in those countries.
And the EU is so clearly a French institution. The stability pact that accompanied the Euro plainly serves French interests, since France is so readily able to meet its requirements while imposing such a heavy burden on other European states. France always gets what it wants from its European neighbours. Why, France gets a rebate on its contributions to the EU budget… er, no that’s the UK. France has managed to get all of Europe to sign onto a single military alliance, except for Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Greece and all the new Eastern European members. But, French is of course the de facto language of the European bureaucracy, isn’t it? You hardly ever hear English in European institutions, do you?
Okay, I’m done being sarcastic. I don’t have a high regard for Forbes magazine, but this sort of dreck should never have gotten past the editor’s desk.