IMHO we’re at a critical point where we are debating the exact question you pose. I hope we choose not to, but I will offer no predictions. I think a lot of it depends on whether the fiscal conservatives can break from the social conservatives to appeal to a wider audience.
White Americans, despite being descended from Europeans, have a strong belief in American “exceptionalism.” Those of us that don’t, tend in some numbers to give up on the “backwardness” of our fellow Yanks and emigrate to Europe, Canada, or Australia. Such expats’ families then get some indirect anti-exceptionalist influence from the expats, but I’m not sure how much that translates to the broader culture. Seems the political class is substantially exceptionalists still, & will be for some time.
Non-white Americans are pretty much doing well, by the historical norms of the USA, not to be sold into indentured servitude. Latinos may be looking to Latin America almost as much as to Europe in their reformist political thinking, & still have to deal with an entrenched Anglo ruling class.
After the Anglo-Latino race war that is probably still going to hit in the next 50 years, who knows?
From what I’ve seen in areas that have highly hispanic influnce (not just population), if hispanics become the politically dominate race of the next century in America then America will move away from European ideals. Mainly, socialism. From what I’ve seen hispanics (especially rich ones) are republicans. I hope this doesn’t sound racist, but I’ve noticed poor white tend to be republicans. Rich white people tend to be democrats. Where as hispanics seem mostly to be republics. All of the ones I knew who were democrats were on the poor scale.
If anything, the US is moving further from Europe. Obama’s health care bill is a dead letter (it will never be funded) and most social support services will be trimmed enormously so the wealthy can become wealthier. I think the US is moving to a more South American model of a small number of extremely wealthy oligarchs who run things to their satisfaction, while nearly all the rest are poor working (or unemployed) class and a vanishingly small middle class.
One indication of this is how many states are actively trying to discourage poor people from voting. But even when they vote, they emphasize social issues like gay marriage and abortion. Look at the last senatorial election in PA.
And, oh yes, military adventurism has marked the decline of many a civilization.
The argument I’ve heard is that the US is 1-2 generations behind Europe on social issues and social safety net/socialism regulations. So yeah, probably. But by the time we are more like Europe, Europe may change.
Then again Europe may bankrupt itself with its programs and start becoming more like the US.
Also culturally Europe seems to becoming more like hte US since immigration is supposedly causing a cultural backlash there, which I’m sure will be used by right wing political movements.
Since America is busily bankrupting itself with its lack of “programs”, especially health care ones, that is unlikely. I doubt a bankrupted Europe could afford the luxury of throwing wealth down ratholes the way America does.
It’s actually the exact opposite on both counts. I’m struggling to find good citations for you, but these twoarticles mention the two points in passing (PDF!): the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to vote Republican, while Latinos vote at least 60% Democrat (a solid trend, though not overwhelming). Given the positions of the two parties, those trends aren’t really shocking.
I fear this outcome, and in passing would like to ask what other prosperous countries foolsguinea thinks all we progressive Yanks would be moving to. Unless you practice some niche occupation or professional specialty, it’s quite tough to do. Heck, you could probably strike out the “prosperous” qualification without much affecting the validity of my question. With regard to the increasing income disparity, and the complaints from his base that Obama hasn’t accomplished much of what he promised, it’s possible that the oligarchy has already become too firmly entrenched.
On the other hand, we are moving towards greater concentration of the population in cities. At least on the coasts, city dwellers tend to swing much farther to the left, and this tendency has accelerated in recent years. In California, half-cent sales tax initiatives, for this objective or that, are a popular ballot box device–and one that often succeeds, despite the fact that new taxes imposed by the state or federal government are usually off the table. The fact that Obama is the first urban president in a couple of generations may have signaled a turning point.
Some things other OECD nations have going for them is how much cheaper their militaries and health care is. We spend about 17% of GDP on health, other wealthy nations spend 8-11% for systems in many ways better. We spend 5% of GDP on military, many European nations spend closer to 2%. So that extra 10% of GDP saved on health and military is freed up to spend on other things. Lucky skunks. Plus they don’t seem (as far as I know) to have the same opposition to taxes, esp supply side taxes which in a plutocracy like our need to be part of any budget.
So in many ways, they are in better shape than us because of it. But if they start having problems with nearly free (to the end user) education and health, or retirement at a younger age they will push austerity and become more like the US.
If Europe goes bankrupt, their social safety net may be cut with austerity to be about as reliable as ours is before austerity. Ours after austerity will probably be closer to a middle income country.
South America is becoming more prosperous. And the Tea Party will never get enough traction to really get rid of Medicare or whatnot. Plus Chile’s neoliberal programs under Pinochet was rather successful. Finally we spend percentage-wise of GDP only one percent more than France on the military.
South America is also turning more towards European style social safety nets with that wealth. Several latin american countries are investing in universal health care and anti-poverty programs among other things.
Also according to this Chile’s GDP per capita growth didn’t take off until the late 80s, which was near the end of Pinochet’s reign.
And the world bank says France spends 2.4%, the US spends 4.7%.