This is a really interesting book that should be viewed as informative for the American experience. Prof. Thornton cites economies as less adaptable and competitive because of an enormous regulatory burden, social welfare entitlements are incredibly expensive, and low birth rates (often as a function of cost of living) as factors in the demise of Europe.
There’s also an interesting discussion about the role of secularism in eroding the fundamental belief system that created Europe and the New World.
What I find interesting about Europe and the U.S. is that as manufacturing economies become less competitive and shrink as a result, financial services industries grow disproportionately and government strategical dependency on financial services sectors becomes unavoidable. Well that hasn’t worked out so well for Europe or the U.S.