CHAPTER FORTY

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A Return to Hard Choices

ACROSS WESTERN EUROPE, FROM Frankfurt and Bonn to Brussels to Oslo, the economic picture this year remains the same, regardless of changes in scenery and language: drooping productivity, unemployment especially among the young, swelling government deficits, rising inflation, and stagnating investment. “Stagflation” was the “British Sickness” ten years ago, and three years ago it was the “American Sickness.” It has now become the “European Sickness.”

The politicians in Europe, of course, are all blaming outside villains for their affliction. OPEC is a favorite target, even though three of Europe’s sickest ...

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