Acton Institute Powerblog

‘I could not do in Europe what I did in America.’

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Those were the words of a German-born businessman in New York, quoted in today’s Wall Street Journal op-ed by Daniel Henninger.

This lucky German continues:

“A European at the age of 25, with little money but a lot of ambition and ideas, could not expect to move outside his own country–move to say the center of France, or the center of Italy, Belgium or any other country–and have much prospect of succeeding. He would remain an outsider.”

In the wake of the riots in France, there’s been a lot written about the Islamist influences, the lack of assimilation into French life, the stagnant economy – all of which show the worst sides of both religious and economic life as its now exists in Europe. The litany of European woes is just too long to list.

There is no doubt that America, as a nation of immigrants, assimilites foreigners much easier than European countries do; I never expect to pass for an Italian, no matter how long I live here. The problems France and other European nations are facing should teach us just how exceptional America really is, and how thankful we should be for our blessings, despite our own gathering problems of national identity and multiculturalism. (On these, see Charles Kesler’s recent Heritage Foundation lecture.)

In another post next week, I’ll try to show you how just how absurdly difficult it is to reform European ways…but I don’t want to ruin my weekend.

Kishore Jayabalan Kishore Jayabalan is director of Istituto Acton, the Acton Institute's Rome office. Formerly, he worked for the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace as the lead policy analyst on sustainable development and arms control. Kishore Jayabalan earned a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In college, he was executive editor of The Michigan Review and an economic policy intern for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He worked as an international economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. and then graduated with an M.A. in political science from the University of Toronto. While in Toronto, Kishore interned in the university's Newman Centre, which led to his appointment to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York. Two years later, he returned to Rome to work for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace as the Holy See's lead policy analyst on sustainable development and arms control. As director of Istituto Acton, Kishore organizes the institute's educational and outreach efforts in Rome and throughout Europe.

Comments

  • krackdown

    “””There is no doubt that America, as a nation of immigrants, assimilites foreigners much easier than European countries do; I never expect to pass for an Italian, no matter how long I live here. The problems France and other European nations are facing should teach us just how exceptional America really is, and how thankful we should be for our blessings, despite our own gathering problems of national identity and multiculturalism. “”

    lol, keep on dreaming mate, uprising of young in france aren’t unemployement nethier poverty, it’s about revolting against fascist comments from a minister, and here in france, the last democraty it’s healthy when peoples react to insults to french constitution, now don’t be fool, france have 75% less underpoverty peoples than USA, and we can get water bottles to ours country fellas in les than 5 days!

    hundreds of young revolting would makes a civil war in yoyrs words? so as feared litle weasel you are, you never went into a revolution, even your article isn’t a revolution into a country where medias give food to his francophobian readers rather than relating facts and reality!

  • “A European jihad or an intifadeh being carried out by self-proclaimed terrorists who have a worldwide agenda. It isn’t unemployment that causes the rioters to shout, “Allah Akbar” as they torch cars and buildings. They are seeking the establishment …

  • “it’s about revolting against fascist comments from a minister,”

    You mean the “fascist comments” about rioters being “scum” that came a few days after the rioting started? Or something else? Fill us in, here…

    Who knows? Perhaps it [i]is[/i] a preemptive uprising against the possibility of future potential fascism. And maybe France [i]does[/i] assimilate immigrants better than America – in pretend make-believe fakeworld.

  • AGS

    Pardon me, but I seem to recall something about over 10,000 French people died in a heatwave a few years ago. Can you imagine that happening in America? No, I can’t either.

    A few water bottles might have helped at that time – I don’t think any were delivered.

  • AGS, even 739 is too many:

    [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Heat_Wave_of_1995]Chicago’s 1995 Heatwave[/url]