Curse That Inefficient, Messy Federalism!

Jonah Goldberg:

Tom Friedman
Tom Friedman loves him some autocracy

…like butterflies always looking for a prettier flower, these intellectuals keep flitting to the next “proof” of America’s shortcomings. For some, such as New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, the prettiest flower out there right now is China. For others, it’s France or Canada. For the truly demented, it’s Cuba.

The problem with all such efforts is that they look abroad solely for what they wish to see at home. For instance, in an effort to push its green agenda, the Obama administration likes to tout the farsighted vision of Spain, which has invested heavily in windmills and other renewable technology. Never mind that today, Spain’s economic crisis is just slightly less dire than Greece’s and politicized bets on green technology contributed to its problems.

Meanwhile, France’s generous health-care system is widely hailed as so much more enlightened than America’s. What Francophiles usually leave out is the fact that France’s per capita income is 30 percent lower than America’s. Such a disparity, according to Nobel Prize–winning economist Ed Prescott, is the difference between economic prosperity and economic depression, and it’s explained by France’s much higher taxes.

‘Twould be so nice if all of our dissatisfied intellectuals and impatient pundits would, you know, move to the countries that they think work so much better than the US and just leave the rest of us to prosper in peace and freedom.