The joy of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal

Yesterday’s online Wall Street Journal edition included a column by Daniel Henninger, its deputy editor of editorials. The article, titled “Memo to the Youth Vote,” begins by asking: “Why would anyone under the age of 25 vote for Barack Obama in November?”

This seems an unlikely question to ask. A Harvard poll released about a week ago revealed that Obama leads Romney among the young by 17%. So perhaps the more appropriate question would be, “Why would anyone under the age of 25 vote for Mitt Romney in November?” But even leaving aside this curious opening line, Henninger later uses economist Robert Lucas to critique Obama’s economic policies:

He then looked at the levels of U.S. social-welfare commitments, including the new Obama health-care entitlement, and ended with a simple observation: “Is it possible that by imitating European policies on labor markets, welfare and taxes, the U.S. has chosen a new, lower GDP trend? If so, it may be that the weak recovery we have had so far is all the recovery we will get.”

In what alternate universe has Obama imitated European policies on…any of these things? European tax systems are different, welfare is extremely different, and in general the labor markets are more rigid on the Old Continent than they are in the U.S. Going a step further, Obama’s stimulus package is proof positive that he differed strongly from his European counterparts, who have united behind the austerity-advocating trifecta of David Cameron, Angela Merkel, and Nicolas Sarkozy.

But Henninger doesn’t stop there. He then proceeds to discuss the disarray of European universities, never bothering to devote a single sentence to how this relates to the U.S., which has most of the best universities in the world. He finally closes by suggesting that, given high unemployment levels, young Americans may end up needing ObamaCare after all. Indeed they might, Henninger. That’s kinda the point of universal coverage.


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