What’s so bad about Europe? Consider: the EU has a lower infant-mortality rate than the U.S., with France among the lowest. The life expectancy for a boy born tomorrow in the United States is 78; in most of the European Union, he will live an extra year, and he gets another two if he is lucky enough to be born in France. As that boy becomes a man, he is more likely to spend his days in happiness, according to data collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. His education, from grade school through university, will be essentially free. When he begins a job in allegedly socialist Europe he can work at one of the world’s leading firms, including three of the top oil companies (BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total), two of the top telecom companies (Nokia and Ericsson) and four of the world’s 10 biggest firms, as measured by sales. He will get more vacation, and have more time off to deal with medical issues and for paternity leave. Europeans report a lower rate of mental illness than Americans, and statistically speaking, those who become ill, whether physically or mentally, stand a greater chance of receiving treatment in Europe. As that man becomes elderly, his pension will be taken care of, too, by a state-funded program.
Yet ever since Barack Obama moved into the White House, the American right has accused him of turning the United States into Europe─a dangerous road considering that Europe, in this view, is full of “cowards” (Bill O’Reilly). Obama’s stimulus package was “the European Socialist Act of 2009” (Sean Hannity). Those who favor a new model for health care are part of an all-but-treasonous anti-American conspiracy to transform the United States into a “European social welfare state” (Rush Limbaugh).