On recent trips to Europe, I’ve become increasingly aware of a reality disconnect between the way America is and the way we’re viewed by Europeans. We’re viewed as having a Cowboy Economy, a laissez-faire society of minimum taxation and regulation. The fact that America is only marginally less taxed and less regulation then Europe seems totally foreign to Europeans.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
This misconception is a costly one. It enables the European statists to argue that any regulation or tax imposed in America must be costless. If America has a certain rule, the logic goes, it must be painless; otherwise it wouldn’t have been imposed. The result is that the Brusselcrats are moving to import the whole American regulatory state. Europe was once relatively free from antitrust regulation but now they’ve bought our policies hook, line and sinker. The process of approving pharmaceuticals was once far less onerous in England, but no more. Poor Europe! To have finally escaped the relatively honest socialism of direct government ownership only to slip into the far less honest American version of the regulated economy. Europe has no future.