What was it that prompted Miss Mahdawi, whom I don’t believe I have had the pleasure of meeting, to launch such a highly personal attack on a private citizen in a national newspaper? (Besides Brexit, of course).
Her tirade seems to have been prompted by the fact that I had the temerity to point out that the United States is more prosperous and innovative that Europe.
Well let’s consider the facts, for a moment. Here is a table showing how the richest countries in Europe compare the US states in terms of GDP per capita. Germany, Europe’s richest country, ranks below Oklahoma, the 38th richest state in America.
The UK is poorer that Arkansas and West Virginia. Even my own state, Mississippi, ranks above Italy and Spain. If you break the UK down by regions, Mississippi is more prosperous than much of the UK outside of London and the south east.
According to Miss Mahdawi, the US can’t be more successful because she lives in New York, where she “pays way more” for her “mobile phone plan and internet than she would for comparable services in the UK or anywhere in Europe.
Apparently the relative cost of her New York phone bill proves the Europe is better than America. Or something.
Perhaps if Guardian columnists made a little more effort to try to understand what those they write hit pieces on actually thought, they might recognize that free marketers favor more free markets.
But if they did that, then they might be forced to acknowledge that one of the reasons why certain sectors of the US economy have become cartels, without enough consumer choice and competition, is precisely because America is currently led by an administration that seeks to expand the role of government and make America more European. Much easier to make childish insults.
The interesting question to ask is why so many of Europe’s elite feel the need to lash out at anyone that suggests that the American model works better that the European.
In the UK, it is constantly implied the America’s health care system is vastly inferior. Really? Five years after diagnosis, only 56% of English cancer patients survive, compared to 65% of American patients. Poorer Americans in poor states often have healthier outcomes that many in Britain.
But again, these facts are overlooked. Anyone with the temerity to mention them gets vilified (“toxic”). And the many shortcomings in the US system are cited as evidence that nothing good ever happens stateside.
When Europe’s elites talk about America, often what they say – or won’t say – tells us more about them, than anything happening over here. The reality is that by most measures the United States gives ordinary citizens far better life chances than the European Union is able to provide for her people.
Deep down Europe’s elites know this. And they fear that their own citizens know it, too. So they constantly put America down in order to maintain their own status across the pond.