The refrain of a popular country song goes, “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” I’m not sure that all people are crazy, but the Europeans certainly are, or have been for the last few decades, anyway. The New York Times reports, “Crisis Imperils Liberal Benefits Long Expected by Europeans.” No surprise there. But this particular fact was news to me:
In Sweden and Switzerland, 7 of 10 people work past 50. In France, only half do.
Past 50? That assumes that the average worker (not the average person) will work for approximately 30 years, which these days is barely more than one-third of his or her life expectancy. Whatever possessed the French, and other Europeans, to think that a person can support a lifetime’s consumption with a third of a lifetime’s work? Haven’t the Europeans heard of the curse of Adam?
Which prompts the thought that the Europeans are post-Christian in this sense, too: they have tried to “liberate” themselves from the curse of Adam by substituting borrowing for working, and from the curse of Eve by not having children. It was entirely foreseeable that neither of these efforts would end well.