NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

A "Savage Economy" Outperforms Europe's

May 6, 1999

Fifteen years ago, the president of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, wrote that Europeans did not want "a savage economy" -- such as the U.S. under President Reagan was adopting. With the notable exception of Margaret Thatcher, European leaders believe that government had a big role to play in business.

It is now 1999, and we can compare the European and American results.

  • The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 4.2 percent, while it is stuck at 10 percent in Europe.
  • In the past generation, Europe has generated virtually no new private sector jobs -- while the U.S. has created 32 million new jobs since 1980.
  • Economists Richard K. Vedder and Lowell Gallaway, in a study for Congress' Joint Economic Committee, looked at how 15 years of increased European regulation, wider taxation and expanding governments have impacted employers' costs -- and concluded that the rest of the world is falling behind the U.S. because "their governments are expanding like crazy."
  • "The U.S. too has expanded government," Vedder adds, "but next to the change in other countries it looks like it's standing still."

Fifteen years of socialist policies in Europe have resulted in unemployment so stubborn and strong as to devastate the national outlook. In Japan, government growth has led to current unemployment numbers which exceed that of the U.S.

Source: Editorial, "Jobs Machine, U.S.A.," Wall Street Journal, May 6, 1999.


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