Tag Archives: europe

Revisiting Progressive Fairness.

By: Chris Warren.

Back in February 2014 my second post on the then brand new Twenty First Summer was about fairness (click here to go to the original article). Since that time, the attitudes I expressed in that article have not changed, but a lot of world events that drive those attitudes has. It’s perfect time to revisit the concept of fairness.

“Each side will claim the other is lying. Each side has a vested interest in keeping the concept of fairness as blurry as possible,” I said back then. That part is still glaringly true. What is different is that one side is more invested in blurring the lines of fairness than the other. I’m not sure what fairness exactly is, but I do know what it isn’t.

Fairness is not taking assets from those who earned them and giving them to those who did not. Where does it say that everyone has a divine cosmic “right” to housing, a college education, childcare, and on and on…regardless of one’s ability to pay?


While we’re on the subject of fairness, it’s also worthwhile to mix in the issue of “rights” because the two concepts are closely related. We The People have a right to many things. Yet, it does not automatically follow that having a right to something means others must provide it for you: I have a right to speak my mind. Should someone else be compelled to host my blog or set me up with a podcast for free?

If it’s not fair that I should get free web hosting, then I need someone from the political left to explain why. After all, they believe fairness equals the right to make someone else pay for my medical bills, my rent, my education, and pretty much my entire lifestyle. I want to know why the same line of thinking does not conclude that my free speech should be, literally, free.

Here in the United States we have the Second Amendment of the Constitution asserting our right to bear arms. While the liberal left is busy insisting that “fairness” means taxpayer funded sex change operations for convicts and fifteen dollars an hour for people stupid enough to think shoveling french fries is a lifetime vocation (none of this is in the Constitution, by the way), they should stay true to their philosophy and demand that the government issue a gun to every citizen who wants one. After all, it’s my “right,” isn’t it? Liberal logic should have no problem with my request for a 9 millimeter semiautomatic chunk of fairness. And I want someone else to pay for it so I don’t have to.

For American Progressives, Europe has been the role model of egalitarian fairness for two generations. Like all things liberal, the European version of fairness wholly depends on taking from those who earn and giving to those who don’t. Europe is now living up to the late great British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s quip about running out of other people’s money.

The Euro Zone which Thatcher strongly warned against is failing, as it deserves to, and Great Britain is seriously considering hitting the eject button from the European Union, an act known as the Brexit in economics-speak. It’s a bit of historic irony when the country that didn’t want the American colonists to have independence nearly 250 years ago is now itself contemplating what without question would be a very messy economic and political divorce from the rest of Europe. I say go for it England, before all that EU fairness sucks the life out of your great and proud land.

That brings me to my last question for American liberals: If European democratic socialism is so awesome, why is it failing? More precisely, why is your version of fairness failing? I’m sure the answer will be at least as blurry and evasive as the excuses for implementing it in the first place.


Refugees Are Unwitting Economics Teachers For A Self Indulgent Europe.

By: Chris Warren

A little less than a year ago I wrote an article about African and middle eastern war refugees escaping to Europe and the difficult and often deadly journey they risked. At the time, I knew a positive outcome would be difficult; I also knew that the Europeans have a hard time accepting that there is a practical limit to generosity, even for refugees in life and death situations. I did not predict that it would become so obvious so soon.

To truly understand this issue one first has to rewind back three generations. That’s roughly how long Europe has overindulged itself in a cradle-to-grave nanny state where nearly everything is a government entitlement. For most of this time it was all paid for, sort of. By “sort of” I mean that the system was financially solvent on paper but only because of massive taxation, fuzzy accounting protocols, and constant debt deferment and restructuring. Financial doomsday has already hit Greece and is seeping out across the continent like The Plague of the 1340s-1350s. It’s the macroeconomic equivalent of transferring balances between maxed out credit cards.

When hundreds of thousands of middle eastern war refugees started arriving at the borders of Europe, Europe’s initial reaction was to accommodate them. There were grand pronouncements of generosity from government officials and a wave of social media love. Everyone, it seems, was gushing with refugee support.

Europeans will be all about doing whatever it takes to help the refugees until a collective epiphany (which has already begun here and here) makes them see that “it” is going to impact them individually. I wonder how many British or German or Greek citizens will still be Tweeting #refugeeswelcome when their kids’ school class sizes increase or the wait times for their rationed state healthcare systems becomes longer because of all the middle eastern castaways they so altruistically took in.

In what could be Europe’s very first ever introduction to economic reality, entire nations that less then a month ago were preaching humanitarianism across the internet are suddenly reconsidering after realizing that they will have to give up a sizable chunk of their money and standard of living to provide for the glut of hundreds of thousands of people who will take far more out of the government entitlement systems than they put into them. Wow, what a difference a few weeks makes.

The liberal left here in the United States, who think moral obligation never has a spending limit and all problems would be solved if only everyone gave more money to the government, has long envied European socialism. Yet, no one on the American left is speaking in support of their European cousins’ sudden change of heart. To do so would be to imply that their cherished entitlement system isn’t working.

The subtext of the very real and very sad plight of the refugees is the failure of big government liberalism and its two-faced supporters who embrace the the idea of helping refugees, but only if at the expense and inconvenience of others. As Twenty First Summer has discussed before, the political left was, is, and always will be grounded in two related basic tenets: Appearances and feelings are just as good as actual results, and a good cause is made better when the expense can be pushed off on others.

That is why Europeans continue to embrace collectivism. That is why they think they can hashtag their way to a better world. That is why after three generations of lavishing themselves in an egalitarian culture of “free” stuff, there are, as former US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney once famously quipped, too many people riding the cart and not enough people pulling it. And that was before the refugees showed up at the gate. The refugees have unwittingly exposed European socialism for the crock of sanctimonious shit that it is: Everything is free, until the bill comes due.