Sunday, August 14, 2005

Intellectual Recycling

In a post this morning Sacramento Bee reporter Dan Weintraub gives a review of the new Jeremy Rifkin's newest screed - The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream. Dan's conclusion is that Rifkin seems to recycle some of his previous ideas and ignore mounds of evidence about the success or failure of the European experiment. He (Rifkin) thinks that declining population and lousy productivity and increasingly fractious politics and abdication of leadership is a good thing when compared to the evil empire of the US. But if Rifkin even bothered to look at the data of almost any indicator comparing the US and the EU he would find that the US has it up on the EU.

Many parts of the intelligensia have hit a roadblock in their thinking. They keep recycling bad ideas - in essence they are like what economists are criticized for - building a model and trying to fit a reality to the model. That is not just with the lefties like Rifkin - Pat Buchanan and some of his ilk are just as guilty. Wouldn't it be more interesting if we got people to do some more analysis before they wrote these tomes?

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