Europeans in America

Why Europeans are still moving in droves to USA by Joel kotkin:

As in the past, immigrants from France, Italy, Germany and other parts of Europe continue to come to America to participate in an economy that is more dynamic, healthier, and generally more open than what they are leaving behind. Americas economic appeal has been broadened by Europes long-term competitive decline; its portion of world GDP dropped from 34 percent to 20 percent between 1913 and 1998, while the United States held its own at about 22 percent of global GDP (even amidst the Third World boom of the last generation).

Most recently, Europes position has weakened considerably. Since the 1970s, America has created some 57 million new jobs, compared to just 4 million in Europe (with most of those in government). For the last quarter century, the United States has enjoyed consistently higher rates of economic growth and productivity than European countries, and the gap has been widening. The United States is now at the forefront in many critical global industries, particularly finance, technology, and entertainment. …

To a large extent, Europe has also turned its back on new industries and younger people, choosing security for the current population over future opportunity. So despite large numbers of retiring workers in France, for instance, unemployment among the young has been risingwith joblessness among workers in their twenties now well exceeding 20 percent. The European welfare state also forces younger workers to pay heavily for a radically escalating number of pensioners and benefit recipients. Since 1970, Germanys ranks of unemployed and retired have soared by some 80 percent, while the working population grew by a mere 4 percent. This is one reason why taxes are so high on German and other European wage earners.

As someone who possesses both a European and US passport, I have to admit that America seems exciting. Yet, many Europeans are surprised to find more regimentation and control in US than they ever thought possible. One Ukrainian intellectual friend of mine expressed surprise at all the rules at a New England beach, as well as the ridiculous rules regarding alcohol and colleges. (The reason for it can be summarized in a word: liability.) Still, at the moment to live in America is to be engulfed in it, to submit to its egocentricism and its sene of manifest destiny superpowerdom. When in America, you develop the habit of just not caring about anything in other countries. If it’s important enough, one thinks, surely it would have been here already.