Individualism has always lived here in America but are we losing it? (Cartoon included)

 

Individualism has always lived here in America but are we losing it?

Will Growing Dependency and Erosion of Social Capital Turn America into Europe?

March 1, 2013 by Dan Mitchell

One of my favorite political cartoons is this Michael Ramirez gem showing President Obama following the European lemmings over the cliff of statism.

But this isn’t a laughing matter. As shown in this remarkable graph on global living standards, Americans enjoy significantly more consumption than their European counterparts.

And here’s another set of charts showing a big gap between the United States and Europe.

So the obvious question is whether we should copy the statist policies of our cousins across the Atlantic.

This video explores some of the possible consequences.

The video should make us contemplate the importance of cultural attitudes.

Values such as the work ethic, the spirit of self reliance, and personal responsibility are all form of social capital that help an economy prosper.

But if social capital begins to erode, restoring it is a bit like trying to put toothpaste back in a tube.

So while I obviously think tax and spending policy is important, pro-growth fiscal policy may not mean much in a society where dependency and mooching are considered acceptable lifestyles.

Which is why the third and fourth lessons in this video on the European fiscal crisis are very important.

It is the sad truth.

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