For a long time, visitors to Montreal and Quebec City have commented upon their European character — a touch of the Danube or the Tiber on the shores of the St. Lawrence. That used to be a good thing. But the sound of rushing water heard now is that of Europe’s future swirling down the drain, and regrettably for Quebec, it is the most European part of North America.And no, the rest of Canada isn't much better off...
The European future is rapidly disappearing, or perhaps it is better to say that the European past has raided the future for so long that there is nothing left for the present. Europe gave up on its future long ago, most fundamentally by not having children, which is the single most enduring tie to the future. A nation that chooses not to replace itself does not intend to stick around.
Once the decision is taken to live in the present, why not defer to the future the cost of as much of the present as possible? It was once accepted that one generation should not burden future generations, but that argument is far less persuasive when the future generations comprise fewer and fewer people.
Thus the Mediterranean model was born (pardon the pun for a continent without babies): low birthrate, generous welfare, rampant tax evasion, early retirement, expansive pensions, rigid labour markets and low productivity. How to pay for this? Borrow recklessly. And hope you die before the pillaged future arrives. Alas, sometimes the future arrives sooner than one thinks. The future arrived for Greece last month and Italy last week. It’s due to arrive in Spain shortly.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
That's the price of being not so much the most European, but the most "progressive" (e.g. socialist, secularist, moral-relativist) part of North America: