European Dreamers

Sometimes you wonder where the Europeans get their airs.

Pick up any European paper and you see it. Go to Europe — anywhere, anytime — and you see it.

It's all the carping that goes like this: Why are Americans so fat? Why do they work so much? Why do they drive these military tanks for car? Don't they know they're eating up the world's resources like pigs? Why are Americans so arrogant?

Well, it turns out some of all that is actually made in America.

An American named Jeremy Rifkin (search), a so-called futurist, has written a new book called "The European Dream." American Dream — European Dream... get it? According to Rifkin, the era of the American Dream is over and the Euro Dream is upon us.

What is the European Dream? Well, it's the utopia of community living, sharing the wealth, living for living instead of for working.

In a review in today's Financial Times (search), the reviewer quotes Rifkin saying, "While the American spirit is tiring and languishing in the past, a new European Dream is being born."

In this thinking, Europe emphasizes community over the individual, cultural diversity over assimilation, quality of life over piling up great wealth — heads up Bill Gates — sustainable development over unlimited material growth and — get this — something called "deep play" over unrelenting work.

The Euros are really hung up on the last thing. They think we all work way too hard. They're taking off months at a time and we're still working. It's shameful as far as they're concerned.

It's true the Euros live in a paradise of the good life. For one thing, they don't have to pay for their own protection — you've been doing that for half a century.

But I think American Jeremy Rifkin is wrong: The future does not belong to groupthink and the welfare state that even diapers adults.

Is it just me, or does it also seem to you that the future belongs to the same people it always has: innovators and doers.

Does that sound like the Euros to you?

That's My Word.

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