Rich Galen

Can it be that our attention has turned from Europe to China and the far east?

Reuters reported that

"Most analysts expect China's economy to enjoy a steady but gentle recovery this year, driven internally by infrastructure investment and household consumption …"

Well, according to the World Bank, China's population is 1,344,130,000 or more than four times the size of the U.S. so if Chinese moms want washing machines, that adds up to a lot of washing machines and Tide.

In most of Europe (not counting Germany) people work fewer hours per week, fewer weeks per year, and fewer years per lifetime than we do in the U.S.

That has led to the collective collapse of the European economy - the Cyprus, Spain, Greek, Italy, Ireland crises that fill the economic/business pages every day.

My friend Jim Blasingame had me on his radio program yesterday and we talked about the differences between the American version of a free market and the European view.

I didn't have a good answer.

I still believe that free markets, given a reasonable chance, will provide the highest level of economic benefit to the highest number of people. Not everyone will be at the top of the pyramid, but even those at the lowest levels will be better off than the majority of people have been in Communist/Socialist societies.

We know that the Soviet system failed. The Chinese have admitted that the Maoist system can't work. The EU is struggling to keep its collective head above water.

Perhaps it is time for 21st Century governments to require their citizens to work for what they need, rather than be given what they want.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at