August 14, 2003

Will nations move to the US?

Only Warsaw has more polish people than Chicago. With Europe having a lower fertility level than the US. It's conceivable that at some point decades from now, there might be more self-identified poles in the US than there are in Poland. This possibility is not unique to the poles (ask any irishman). As the US is also growing richer than Europe, the economic power centers of any particular european ethnicity might also migrate across the Atlantic Ocean to the US.

We thus have a very strange spectacle. For the first time in the history of the world, a dominant power may absorb a nation without absorbing any of its territory, without territorial expansion at all. That is astonishing, if trends hold up. But will the current trends hold up? Will Europe continue to hurtle itself towards the demographic cliff? Will it continue to hold back economic reform of its stiff business regulations and rigid labor rules?

Normally, I'm an optimist and would say that they're too smart over there to do something that stupid. Then I remind myself that's exactly what I said about Romania's center-right coalition when they adopted a "Contract with Romania" and promised to implement its points or resign. They didn't implement the points (no surprise, they were in a coalition government with non-Contract adherers) and they didn't resign. They walked off the political cliff and expected to survive the next elections. Of course, none of them did and the electoral devastation was terrible to behold. Is wider Europe smarter than that or is there a continent-wide blindness to taking the measures necessary to save themselves?

Posted by TMLutas at August 14, 2003 01:22 PM