You may not trust the NY Times to be arbitrary in holding the Netherlands up as a model for taxation given their loyalties, but is looking Europe-ward a total fantasy?
Michael Moynihan argues no:
“There are indeed lessons to be learned from countries like the Netherlands. Which means that supporters of the “European model” must acknowledge that most of these successes—as is the case in many other European countries—are the result of a significant overhaul of base social democratic assumptions about government control of labor markets and health care systems. In other words, as the U.S. moves towards them, they continue to move towards us.”
…because we are already becoming more like each other. This is a surprisingly pragmatic stance for the libertarians.
Is America’s dynamism based on its youth and independence and geographical isolation? Is some form of greater social contract (in the form of greater government oversight of social services) an inevitable outcome of civilization?
Karl Popper saw the disintegration of the Austrian left in the face of fervent nationalism, militarism and a racism that was particulary virulent. Is the chaos that resulted a possible outcome in supporting such kinds of European leftism?…what other factors contributed to this past bloody European century?
Here’s a quote of his:
“…and if there could be such a thing as socialism combined with individual liberty, I would be a socialist still. For nothing could be better than living a modest, simple, and free life in an egalitarian society. It took some time before I recognized this as no more than a beautiful dream; that freedom is more important that equality; that the attempt to realize equality endangers freedom; and that, if freedom is lost, there will not even be equality among the unfree.”
See Also On This Site: Charles Murray, ever the contrarian, argues yes, it is a fantasy: Charles Murray Lecture At AEI: The Happiness Of People…Is this just the libertarians following Will Wilkinson’s advice: Will Wilkinson And Jonah Goldberg On Bloggingheads: Updating Libertarianism