Focus Point - European TroublesCommentary by Pete du Pont
June 18, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. In 1799 a market-oriented french economist named du Pont fled the french revolution.
Today, the philosophy spawned by Jean-Jacques Rousseau which Mr. du Pont feared haunts Europe. Individual rights and opportunities must be subordinated to the public will as determined by bureaucrats. A recent series in American Outlook was rife with examples.
French communists want to force companies to get permission before any layoffs. Greens want the government to control all companies. This isn't idle talk - the socialist-communist-green alliance controls the national assembly.
EU government tries to crack down on "harmful tax practices" among members - meaning countries like Ireland with low taxes and this high growth.
In March the European Court of Justice ruled the EU can lawfully suppress political criticism of its bureaucracy and leaders. There's no first amendment in Europe, and the court ruled the state could punish free speech "to protect the rights of others." Somewhere Rousseau is smiling. So is my ancestor, knowing he came to the right country.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.