Becoming Europe by Samuel Gregg
Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future

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“We’re becoming like Europe.” This expression captures many Americans’ sense that something has changed in American economic life since the Great Recession’s onset in 2008: that an economy once characterized by commitments to economic liberty, rule of law, limited government, and personal responsibility has drifted in a distinctly “European” direction.

Americans see, across the Atlantic, European economies faltering under enormous debt; overburdened welfare states; governments controlling close to fifty percent of the economy; high taxation; heavily regulated labor markets; aging populations; and large numbers of public-sector workers. They also see a European political class seemingly unable—and, in some cases, unwilling—to implement economic reform, and seemingly more concerned with preserving its own privileges. Looking at their own society, Americans are increasingly asking themselves: “Is this our future?”

In Becoming Europe, Samuel Gregg examines economic culture—the values and institutions that inform our economic priorities—to explain how European economic life has drifted in the direction of what Alexis de Tocqueville called “soft despotism,” and the ways in which similar trends are manifesting themselves in the United States. America, Gregg argues, is not yet Europe; the good news is that economic decline need not be its future. The path to recovery lies in the distinctiveness of American economic culture. Yet there are ominous signs that some of the cultural foundations of America’s historically unparalleled economic success are being corroded in ways that are not easily reversible—and the European experience should serve as the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

About Samuel Gregg

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Samuel Gregg is director of research at the Acton Institute. He is the author of many books, including On Ordered Liberty (2003), his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007), and Wilhelm Röpke's Political Economy (2010). He lectures regularly in America and Europe on topics encompassing political economy, economic culture, and morality and the economy. His writing has appeared in academic journals and magazines including National Review, The American Spectator, and Crisis Magazine, as well as newspapers throughout America, Europe, and Latin America.
Published January 8, 2013 by Encounter Books. 384 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The Washington Times

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"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess," declared Margaret Thatcher in a television interview before she became Britain's prime minister. "They always run out of others people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them." The Iron Lady's words rang true back in 1976 as Bri...

Jan 22 2013 | Read Full Review of Becoming Europe: Economic Dec...

National Review Online

Republic of Argentina, has been making its way through the court system, with Argentina continuing to find court after court rejecting its arguments concerning why it shouldn’t be required to make payments on defaulted government bonds.

Nov 14 2013 | Read Full Review of Becoming Europe: Economic Dec...

Reason Magazine

1.22.13 @ 11:46AM |#.

Jan 22 2013 | Read Full Review of Becoming Europe: Economic Dec...

Voice Of North Carolina

The problem in Europe is that EU-wide, state welfare systems are so entrenched that political parties on the left and right behave essentially the same way in dealing with economic issues.

Apr 06 2013 | Read Full Review of Becoming Europe: Economic Dec...

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