The Effect of Social Policy on People

I haven’t read this entire study and to be totally truthful I don’t know much about this umbrella chambers of commerce organization in the EU, so it’s hard to gauge how credible the research is.

“It will take the EU until 2072 to reach US levels of income per capita, and then only if the EU income growth exceeds that of the US by 0.5pc,” the study said.

However, one doesn’t need a doctorate to know that EU policies directed at the intersection of society and business have simply failed. Unemployment rates remain persistently high across Europe as has real wage growth and social policies that are intended to spur companies to hire more people, such as France’s 35 hour work week, have actually done the opposite.

R&D spending per capita also dramatically lags that of the U.S., as well as new business creation. Ironically, it is wages and per capita spending power that is causing both a brain drain and stagnation in R&D spending by EU businesses. The simple fact is that it costs significantly more to do business in Europe than in the U.S. and those costs are not just passed on to consumers, they impact investments by business and real wage growth.

This all adds up to serious business here in the U.S. with the Senate prepared to begin debate on the Lieberman-Warner bill that would create a cap-and-trade scheme for carbon here in the U.S. While ideologically aligned with market based mechanisms, I remain concerned about the feasibility of such a grand new marketplace in achieving real goals without burdening U.S. based businesses with enormous costs that reduce our global competitiveness and long term economic security. Even here the EU has failed to achieve it’s goals with many years having passed since imposing a cap-and-trade scheme on EU businesses, the CO2 output has not declined but has increased.

The one certainty about cap-and-trade is that it puts additional costs on energy producers at a time when we can ill afford them.

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