"This Nobel is about Political Decadence," Daniel Henninger
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The unanswered question at the center of this odd Nobel is whether Barack Obama admires Old Europe for the same reasons it admires him.
When it was a vibrant garden of ideas, Europe gave the world more good things than one can count. Then it discovered the pleasures of the welfare state.
Old Europe now lives in a world of unpayable public pension obligations, weak job creation for its youngest workers, below-replacement birth rates, fat agricultural subsidies for farms dating to the Middle Ages, high taxes to pay for the public high-life, and history's most crucial proof of decay-the inability to finance one's armies. Only five of the 28 nations in NATO (the U.K., France, Turkey, Greece and Spain) achieve the minimum defense-spending benchmark of 2% of GDP.
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Not to mention numbers of births below the replacement rate and liberal immigration policies.
Being a decadent European peace-nik is a luxury paid for by American military spending.