Posted by: captainfalcon | December 31, 2009

Manzi Scheme

I second Christoph – Manzi’s essay is excellent.

Update: Although he never adequately explains why our adopting a “European economic model” would be so horrible. Unless I’m missing something (there are a lot of paragraphs) he only says two things about it:

Yet the strategy of giving up and opting out of this international economic competition in order to focus on quality of life is simply not feasible for the United States. Europeans can get away with it only because they benefit from the external military protection America provides; we, however, have no similar guardian to turn to. We do not live in a Kantian world of perpetual commercial peace. Were America to retreat from global competition, sooner or later those who oppose our values would become strong enough to take away our wealth and freedom.

And

Of course, the European model is not an inherently terrible way to organize human society. It is, however, a model very poorly suited to America’s current strategic situation, and would leave us in a far worse position to deal with the challenge of balancing innovation and ¬≠cohesion. We do not have the luxury of drowning our sorrows in borrowed money while watching our power and influence wane.

Maybe so, but his conclusions are only as strong as “Europeans can get away with it only because they benefit from the external military protection America provides; we, however, have no similar guardian to turn to…Were America to retreat from global competition, sooner or later those who oppose our values would become strong enough to take away our wealth and freedom.” which has too syllogistic a ring to it to possibly be an accurate synopsis of geopolitics (or, at least, I’d like some evidence).

Quibble aside, good stuff – the intro and “A House Divided” are the best parts, imo. Although “Toward Social Democracy” is the best summary of Obama’s economic policy I’ve read.

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