Monday, December 6, 2010

The One Big Advantage the U.S. Has Over the EU

A friend of mine just spent a week in Belgium on business. He was visiting a fast growing Belgian tech company. The thing is, all of its growth is outside Belgium. India and Brazil, mostly. The reason is simple: taxes and regulation.

For instance, if they want to fire a worker, the company have to pay that worker for another 10 years. I kid you not. So who would ever hire someone under these circumstances?

In the U.S., we have been heading down a similar path for some time, but we have one thing going for us that Belgium and other EU countries don't: our system of states. Not everything in the U.S. is run from Washington, and as a result, if you don't like the economic climate in, say, New York, you can always move to Texas or Florida. (Texas, in particular right now, is kicking ass.) This is the only thing that keep many states honest, our ability to vote with our feet.

This is why we need a rejuvenated states' right movement. The left, for years, has managed to cast states' rights as crypto-racist (i.e. it's supposed to remind everyone of slavery). What a load. Once upon a time, we were a collection of states that were only loosely bonded at the federal level. That model worked, because it promoted healthy competition. The propensity for bureaucrats and special interests to expand their own powers was naturally kept in check. We need to move back to that model. We are called as the "United States"  for a reason.

Unfortunately, we have been moving like a freight train towards Belgium.

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