"The European Dream" by Jeremy Rifkin

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"The European Dream" by Jeremy Rifkin

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himself it is part of his speech to present himself so I don’t dare to do this we invite him and we had to invite you Jeremy because we are fascinating by the way that an American defend the European dream so the Knights today the debate will be like this Jeremy will make large explanation of his view of the European dream and why the European dream has more future for him that the Americans then we will have not statement but position by the other participants of the panel after this first round there will be three green who will have a statement questioning the position was been defended here then we go back to the panel and then we go back to the question and then we try at the end to God and we are all more intelligent this is the thing that we want to get tonight to go out after two and a half hour and we are all more intelligent a happy to be more intelligent this is what we aim to do tonight so Jeremy is your turn good evening everyone nice to be here you can set your watches I’ve been told I get fifty five minutes and if I go a minute over don’t say anything my my father Milton Rifkin he was born in 1908 in Denver Colorado on the western frontier my mother of Ivette was born in El Paso Texas on the Texan Mexican border in 1911 still doing great at 93 years old my siblings and I were born in the West in Colorado when we were little babies we moved to Chicago and we were raised in a working-class neighborhood and the south side of that city policemen firemen people who worked in a steel yards the stockyards and my mother still lives in that same house 59 years later I was raised in the heartland of America the Heartland and I was raised on the American dream it was catechism that dream stripped to its essentials is very simple regardless of the station to which you’re born if you get a good public education and work hard and are diligent to the task you can become a success in the United States of America it’s the land of opportunity for a hundred and fifty years the dream was robust remember even as late as 1960 we were the most middle class of all the societies in the world 40 years ago today unfortunately I have to report to you the dream has unraveled in 40 years in my lifetime today the United States ranks 24th among industrial countries in income disparity that is the gap between the very rich at the top and the multitudes of working poor at the bottom only Mexico and Russia ranked lower that’s why a new survey by the Ford Foundation says that only 51% of Americans still believe in the dream a third of Americans say we don’t believe in the American dream anymore this is a surprise isn’t it this is a social glue this is what keeps America together it’s the kind of a covenant when I look at another American and we look at an immigrant to America we got an understanding hard country tough country but land of opportunity if you make it I don’t envy you I congratulate you the reason there’s so much fear and polarization in almost hatred in America today is we are in trouble and we don’t want to acknowledge it and have a conversation we’re losing the vision we’re losing the moral cachet and the last taboo is to try to entertain a conversation is the American dream need to be rethought on this side of the Atlantic a powerful dream emerging it’s taken 50 years really since the end of World War two what’s interesting about this dream to

me because it’s the mirror opposite of our dream but it may be a better fit for a globally connected world I should say at the get-go if you asked to hear a pin what’s the American dream they can tell you when I published this book I would ask people what’s the European dream and they say what only Americans can dream but what I have seen is that in a kind of a stealth way three generations of Europeans have began to create a dream and it’s a good thing you didn’t know it was one because you would probably have argued it to death in some committee but at least now it’s here let me be frank about something you Europeans you’re always wondering about America talking about America auxin about America what does America think how does America feel can I let you in on a little secret we never think about you never to surprise you you’re not on our radar screen that’s not exactly true we do think about you when it’s time to vacation no but this is this is very serious because when it’s time to revitalize our spirit feed our soul get back in touch with our humanity and the more important parts of life we flock to Europe there must be a message here but when we think of institutional Europe we normally think the following in the heartland of America anti-market bias inflexible labor pampered workers aging population bloated government bureaucracy and a welfare system near collapse do I have it right there may be a germ of truth to this but what we’re missing and what many in Europe were missing is there’s another skin a new skin below the old skin and we’re not seeing its relevance four hundred and fifty five million human beings across 25 Member States from the Irish Sea to the doorsteps of Russia have forged a union a political union this is the strangest political experiment in history I understand I I speak often with EU officials and even European leaders and no one quite knows what the European Union is here actually everyone’s confused why there’s no precedent if you look back in history every nation every Empire every Kingdom in all of history is born in violence coercion revolution in the streets seizing people territory resources the EU is totally counterintuitive 1945 your parents and grandparents looked at the rubble and they said we can’t do this anymore a thousand years of conflict the bloodiest Contin in the world more people have shed more blood in Europe than anywhere in this planet two world wars the Holocaust and in 1945 said it’s over put down the sword we’re gonna have to learn to create a new political experiment based on cooperation trust reciprocity and waging peace immanuel kant’s perpetual peace this is a strange political agency and this is the first transnational space it’s not a nation-state it’s not a global State what is this I call it network politics you know Henry Kissinger once said if I call up Europe who answers the phone we have an answer for him everyone the understand and networks no one party can dominate so there’s this constant excruciating agonizing attempt to create consensus so everyone can get their agenda pass does it sound familiar MPs you have the corporation’s the NGOs and the government’s and the nation-states and the corporations networks are agonizing excruciatingly difficult who’s in charge why can’t we get anything done but they work because they’re so redundant the democracy is so horizontal that they slowly moved to the next stage in every stage where the European Union was to make the leap to the next stage we said it will fail and in every stage of the European Union defied the odds network politics horizontal based power no simple command and control at the top it’s interesting to me that a third of young Europeans between the ages of 18 and 31 say they now feel they are European first that doesn’t mean they give up their nationality or their region they just gained another identity it took me 20

years of commuting back and forth to Europe to realize that actually Americans think fundamentally different than Europeans I thought it was just a style difference of language no when an American parent teaches their child of what freedom is which is the core of our dream we have completely different set of ideas in mind than when your parents teach you what freedom is which is the core of your dream our parents teach us that freedom is self-reliance independence autonomy and mobility that’s why we love the auto mobile and so our taste of freedom is when we get behind that drivers wheel and we know that we’re self-sufficient independent and no one tells me what to do I’m on my own swim or sink I’m responsible for my life you’re responsible for your life it’s a tough country the government’s not going to help me my neighbors aren’t going to help me I’d better learn to be self-sufficient that’s the American Way no continental European parent teaches their child that I’ll leave the Brits aside for a minute because I’m not sure what’s going on over there it’s a dip it’s almost a bridge between the two actually but a continental European parent teaches their child that freedom is the quality of your relationships the extent to which you’re connected and have access to communities because the more embedded the greater the quality of your relationships the more choices do you have will fulfilling life so you ask an American what’s the American dream that I should make something of my life ask any European in this room what’s your dream a better quality of life for my children and those yet to come the reason is you need to sit no more cameras please the reason is to understand the American dream and why people voted the way they did in November because you’re always asking how can Americans vote the way they do you need to understand it’s always about the American dream and it’s always about saying what candidate we think is the keeper of the flame the American Dream is a European transplant our founders came to America 200 years ago during the waning stages of the Protestant Reformation the early stages of the Enlightenment in Europe we took those two currents of European thought at the time we froze them for 200 years the American dream is a European transplant if Martin Luther would come back today am i right in saying he’d be far more comfortable in the heartland of America than the heartland of Europe correct if Adam Smith were to come back today architect of the of market capitalism he’d feel very comfortable in America where the fiercest champions of the marketplace the Reformation and the Enlightenment were very different ideas and many Europeans say how can you Americans be so religious and so materialistic at the same time the Reformation says suffer with Christ and your reward is eternal salvation the Enlightenment says no pursue happiness and your reward is progress very different ideas but what connects them in the eyes of every American the individual is at the center of both currents of thought Martin Luther said you stand naked and alone with your God no priesthood no church no Vatican you stand alone Adam Smith said you stand alone to pursue your self-interest in the marketplace alone John Locke said you stand alone against the forces of nature harnessing we were alone it was a frontier we didn’t have a lot of social solidarity and support we had to learn to be self-sufficient that’s why the cowboy on the horse became our icon later the automobile as a surrogate so being independent and autonomous in mobile being an island to ourselves being responsible for our own fate this is what America is all about in the end we all believe we go it alone it doesn’t mean we don’t have community and civil society but at the end this is a very individual culture in Europe you had an older tradition that tempered the individualism of the Reformation the Enlightenment you had the paternalism of the Catholic Church fortress walled cities feudal society so you had almost a hierarchical kind of communal sense of relationships that tempered the individualism of the Reformation the Enlightenment so in the 20th century after World War Two you ended up with a social economy market capitalism but also redistribution of the fruits and benefits through government so the American Dream the European dream the American Dream focuses on personal

accumulation of wealth it’s not an end many my European friends say oh you Americans all you care about is money money money that’s just not true for Americans money is a means to an end the end is freedom self-sufficiency because our parents teach us the government is never going to take care of you nor the community you got to take care of yourself so you better have enough property so you won’t be a drain on society the European dream focuses much more on quality of life you always talk about quality of life here that’s not on the radar screen in in the heartland of America that term the reason is in America you could get rich cheap land free land you could go from rags to riches so individual wealth counted in Europe you had the older feudal society class station so you couldn’t just naturally get rich so you settled for an alternative quality of life the whole community taxes itself and then you raise everybody’s boat with their context being a good quality of life in the community individual dream more of a collective dream the American Dream focuses on the work ethic we work longer hours those of us who have jobs than the Koreans number one American work hours Europeans say you Americans don’t get it you’re constantly having to be productive you can’t smell the rose as you live to work we Europeans across Europe we choose to work to live or as my wife says the deathbed test coz I’m a workaholic she says you know anyone on their deathbed that ever said oh I regret I didn’t spend another hour over at the office maybe I could answer a few emails before I kick off Europeans get it the American Dream focuses on property rights and civil rights because they are an extension of our individuality if I have property I’m independent if I have the right of speech assembly press and the right to have a gun I’m independent Europeans don’t spend as much time on property and civil rights you spend a lot more time on social rights universal health care everyone should have retirement benefits maternity leave and you spend a lot of time on what you call human rights Jimmy Carter talks about it but I can tell you in my family which is an intelligent college-educated family I’ve never heard the term human universal human rights I’ve never heard that term the American Dream focuses on assimilation we do better at immigration than you do we struggle but we’re not afraid of new blood but we have a condition come to America will accept you but get rid of your former cultural ties and get into the melting pot be a free agent in the market in Europe in theory we’ll get to practice but in theory multicultural diversity the slogan of the European Union is unity and diversity what in diversity correct the American Dream focuses on growth we don’t like the frontier we want to tame it and put it make it into a shopping center if we can the European dream focuses more on what you call sustainable development not on the radar screen in middle America the reason actually is is to do with density in America if you’ve noticed when you traveled you’ll see a town that’s 30 years old and falling apart and the next city is brand new because in America if we follow the nest we just move into the next cornfield and settle it as a city in Europe you were so densely populated by the 18th century you couldn’t file your nest you had no more space so when you go over any part of Europe even the poorer parts you’ll see that space is used in a much more careful manner that’s what made you the long-distance runner when it comes to things like the biodiversity treaty the global warming treaty it’s part and parcel of the understanding that you’re connected whether you like it or not you’re embedded and you have a responsibility because there’s no other place to go the American Dream focuses heavily on religion were the most religious of any industrial countries you may roll your eyes but I can tell you a majority of my fellow Americans and my family are deeply religious it’s heartfelt it’s real a majority of Americans believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible a majority of Americans believe literally that that actually the devil exists and evil exists it’s not a metaphor then here’s one I do it kind of feel it’s kind of amusing to me as an American the vast majority of Americans on recent surveys about 80% nine eighty five percent say they actually believe literally in heaven and hell but only four percent think they’re going to hell which i think is kind of – all right very confident country the American Dream

focuses on on patriotism of 50 industrial countries we ranked number one on patriotism our kids in uniform will die for their country sometimes protecting your interests sometimes in wars that we shouldn’t be dying for Europeans say no wage peace we’ve been down that relevant and what the Europeans would say is patriotism makes you a little nervous it conjures up the bad old days of the 1930s it sounds like a relic from the 19th century nationalism right well it’s not that Europeans don’t love their country if I meet somebody for example from Italy they’ll say oh I’m from Tuscany and then tomorrow morning they’ll say I feel Italian and then next week they’ll say today I feel European and then maybe the next week they’ll say you know I’m just a person in the world forget all the rest in America the identity is more narrow God and country we start every talk and end every talk with God Bless America can you imagine a European politician saying god bless the European Union haha I don’t get into local politics the American Dream is heavy into the military and you don’t understand why it’s because we actually do believe evil exists it’s not dysfunctional behavior when Chamberlain compromised with Hitler we saw Hitler as actually the devil incarnate you say no no no absorb conflict wage peace put out humanitarian assistance bring people into partnership that’s what the European Union is about so to sum it up American dream very individual I should make something of my life I’m responsible for my life I like part of that the European dream let me lay it out and then you tell me if this is what you’d like to be I’m not saying you’re living up to any of this across Europe inclusivity no one should fall too far behind between the rich and poor we don’t let anyone be abandoned totally by society to multicultural diversity we expect everyone to respect each other’s narrative and story 3 a belief in the quality of life and promoting the quality of life for our children in our community for a belief that we balance work and play we work to live we don’t live to work 5 promoting social rights and universal human rights 6 creating a sustainable world we have to rely and be dependent on the biosphere in which we live and seventh waging peace across Europe wouldn’t you say that’s what most people would like to be now am I saying you’re living up to any of this actually of course not but dreams are what you’d like to be they’re not what we are Americans we’ve never lived up to our dream but I could sit here all night and talk about all the ways Europe’s not living up to its dream the apocrypha the prejudice the bias against minorities the struggle between the wealthy countries in the new accession countries the Democratic deficit we could spend hours on this it’s not the point though the point is this is the dream of what you’d like to be this is the legacy that you want to pass on to your children and it’s very very different than our your dream is the most ambitious dream I’ve ever heard of in history it’s the first effort by almost a half a billion people to create a global consciousness this is a global consciousness it may fail Danny and when you introduce me you’re talking about me being optimistic about the European Union I think the jury is out this is such an ambitious dream I’m not sure if this generation is up to the task I don’t know you may be the Napster bertelsmann of politics Napster bertelsmann remember they their music model loss but all the music companies followed their lead I don’t know I’m just not sure yet so what’s the problem here it’s perception if Americans have a superiority complex Europeans have a deep inferiority complex I’m sorry you’re always in our shadow we Americans over hype our successes we don’t talk about our failures not because we’re hiding failures boring that’s yesterday let’s get on with the new idea with all due respect my European friends constantly talking about failures disappointments things that don’t work I can’t go through a dinner without this didn’t work that won’t work that can’t work that was a failure this won’t happen you you know what I’m saying when is the last time you ever sat around the dinner table talking about successes that you’ve had can anyone recall yeah what I’m saying here is this there’s real-world consequences for the way one perceives one’s place in the

world for example we have this belief that America is this juggernaut this super giant economic power and Europe is falling apart this little old beast ready for the old age home reality I teach it the oldest Business School in the world the Wharton School in the advanced management program and I teach a lot of your CEOs in Europe have gone through my program in America can I tell you what the real reality is on the ground in 2003 the European Union GDP exceeded the United States of America this year we’ve tucked ahead of you a little bit the European Union is the largest exporting power in the world today not the United States of America the European Union’s the largest internal market in the world today not the United States of America sixty-one of the hundred 40 largest fortune 500 companies today our European fifty our American you lead in key industries 14 of the 20 largest banks in the world European including the big ones you lead across the board in the entire insurance industry you lead an aerospace with Airbus you lead in the construction industry the chemical engine industry the engineering industry you lead in food wholesale and retail trade these are powerful industries now we lead an auto and software and pharmaceuticals but to say that America is the only superpower and and you’re really fading into history is not a sober assessment of what’s going on on the ground here’s where the perception breaks down you’re still comparing individual countries to the US you compare Germany to the US France to the u.s. Italy to the US UK to the US but you have to own up that’s not the reality the companies I work with their regulatory regime is not Germany Italy and France it’s Brussels and the companies I work with in Europe see Brussels as the administrative core of their commercial life so now we got to start making a different comparison we have this is going to be hard to do we have to compare Germany to California the largest state in your Union the largest state in our Union Germany wins hands down it’s far more powerful now my German friends get upset but I say don’t don’t get upset if California were a country would be the fourth largest country in the world use just the third largest then you got to compare your second largest state the UK with our second largest state New York the UK wins hands down then this is the tough one are you ready then you’ve got to compare your third largest state France to our third largest state Texas this is a difficult exercise I said this in San Antonio Texas last week and I thought they were all going to commit suicide and it turns out France is more powerful than Texas then you got to compare Italy to Florida then you got to compare Spain to Illinois and then you go down state-by-state in your Union compared to state-by-state in my Union and we began to sense the enormity of this experiment this first transnational space in history and there are real accomplishments to this dream it isn’t just a dream if you measure the good life by the paycheck we Americans are 28% richer than you are but it’s more an equally divided between rich and poor but if you measure the good life by quality of life the EU 15 most advanced countries passed us up ten years ago education at the University and graduate level I’ll have to tell you the u.s. is right now unbeatable if you want a good graduate University education there are good schools in Europe but I enlarged we’ve got you beat at the Graduate University level however at the elementary and secondary level 18 European countries this year outperformed our children in math literacy health care if you’re seriously sick and you can afford the best treatment in the world you’ll come to the John Hopkins or Mayo Clinic garden-variety health care you beat us 10 years ago 40 million Americans have no health insurance you have more doctors per population the EU 15 you live a year longer than we do which is extraordinary since you smoke so much I don’t know how you do it it’s either the beer the wine or the good life you have much lower infant mortality we ranked 27th and infant death why because we abandon mothers if they’re poor you have poverty I understand there’s poverty all over Europe but you don’t allow someone to be totally abandoned by the state look at the question of leisure we get two weeks off a year actually the average is four to five days can you imagine that that’s four to five days

the average European gets four to six weeks and you get 12 weeks more off a year than we do of course you say but American productivity is higher actually from the late 1950s to the late 1990s the EU 15 outperformed us on productivity per hour every year we caught up we’ve now gone ahead of you in the last two years but even in 2003 seven European countries outperformed our workers in labour productivity including as you know France with a 35 hour work week and Germany oacd figures finally take the question of Safe Communities you normally think prosperous society safe society America’s counter-intuitive we have four times the homicide rate of Europe even though you have a bigger population 25% of all the prisoners in the whole world are now in prison in my country 2% of the entire adult male workforce in my countries in jail it doesn’t make me feel good to stand in front of you to say this I’ve been a social activist some of you folks know for 35 years I remember the America that was the beacon the standard for justice for equity for middle-class quality of life society I want it to come back to where it was but we have to have a sober assessment of reality and I’m not going to tell you tonight that somehow the European dreams all good and the American Dreams all bad later I’m going to say there are things Europe can learn from the American dream that are worth salvaging and vice versa it’s a two-way street so where does this leave us Europeans will say in this room ok mr. Rifkin we’ve got a global dream we’ve got global consciousness we’ve got great social programs that show that we meant business but the dreams over wake up sober up we can’t afford it anymore the economy is anemic we’re not growing jobs we’re in euro sclerosis we’re going to have to deconstruct the social benefits give up the dream and go to the American economic model Darwinian brutal market driven everyone on their own it’s incentives to the marketplace you swim you sink that’s it correct because Americans know how to grow the economy and provide jobs do I have this right hmm that’s not the reality many of our economists my colleagues come over here and tell you that and many of your economists were trained in our business schools and they mouth the same line can I give you my assessment of what really is going on in the American economy we came out of the 1989 to 1992 recession and we came out of it not because we had superior entrepreneurial talents or we had better ingenuity or because we deconstructed social programs I’m here to tell you tonight that taking all those social programs in eliminating and have absolutely nothing to do with growing an economy except negative GDP I want you to just listen to what I just said it’s apples and oranges you can take everyone off welfare you can eliminate all the social programs it has absolutely nothing to do with growing the economy except it grows negative GDP more prisons more crime deteriorating health polluted environments the way America grew and you could try this if you like after 92 we put out massive credit cards across the country we went into consumer debt and the biggest buying binge in history and we’re still on it the average family savings rate in 1990 was 8% the average family savings rate in Europe today is 14% today the average family savings rate in my country is nearly 0 we have mortgaged the future and we’ve continued to go into debt to make the economy move and to keep the whole world afloat with American consumers this year more people in my country will file for bankruptcy then file for divorce or get a heart attack or get diagnosed with cancer or graduate college does this sound like a healthy strong economy and did we create jobs the University of Chicago study says that even in the halcyon Clinton years when we claimed 4% unemployment it was 9 equivalent the EU 15 it’s just that our unemployment benefits run out in six months yours can drag on for years so if you’re on unemployment benefits for years you’re countered is unemployed in my country as soon as the benefits run out and you stop looking we count you as discouraged not as unemployed secondly we didn’t count all the people we brought back to work underemployed flex labor a few hours a week they’re counted as employed finally we put 2% of the adult male workforce in prison we don’t count them so the last four years we had a net loss of 1.6 million jobs the last

time that happened was 1929 stock market crashed in the last year we’ve picked up some jobs there’s no doubt about it but not making up for the losses am i correct or wrong there’s one way to tell after this lecture call up and check the currency rates the worth of the dollar the worth of the euro and that’s all you need to know why is the dollar continuing to be devalued against the euro is it just a shell game no the international investment community is saying we don’t trust the fundamentals you have consumer debt credit card debt you mortgage your homes and now you have mortgage debt then the government gave you tax relief and now we have government deficits and trade deficits we don’t trust the dollar we think it’s all based on debt and credit so we’re gonna continue to devalue the dollar against the euro until you can show us otherwise did anyone think in 1999 the euro would be stronger than the dollar there must be some reason here so where does this lead us it doesn’t do you any good to know that America is in trouble because you’re still in trouble you still have an anemic economy you’re not growing jobs you’re in euro Sclerosis so what’s the solution let’s assume for the sake of argument the American model is not the solution what is the solution you have a Golden Goose right here in front of you and you’re starving the goose you’re not feeding the goose what is the alternative economic model what is the golden goose it’s the integration of the infrastructure of the biggest potential commercial market in the world that goes from the Irish Sea to the doorsteps of Russia it’s called the European Union but when you went to Lisbon in the year 2000 your heads of state boasted they would be the most competitive into knowledge economy in the world by 2010 then the politicians came home center right center left and they played local politics they played the NGOs and the corporation’s and the labor unions and the regions were given up too much to Europe does anyone in this room really believe that the UK little UK France Germany Italy Sweden does anyone really believe that these country’s prosperity rests with going back into the nation-state container or integrating the biggest commercial market in the world today called the European Union here’s what we need to do to feed the goose we need in the next 15 years to create a seamless infrastructure that means a seamless power grid hopefully a hydrogen economy power grid in 15 years across the continent we need a single seamless transportation grid across the continent in 15 years we need a seamless communication grid across the continent in 15 years we need a single set of regulatory policies governing Commerce trade capital and labor flows in 15 years we need English as lingua franca for business only in 15 years if the European it’s already here complain it not for social life because we want to maintain the rich diversity of our cultures but frankly it used to be French it was before that it was Latin and maybe Chinese right now it’s English and your graduate schools are teaching in English and science and business but here’s my point and you can argue about the language but here’s my point if you can integrate the infrastructure the biggest commercial market in the world wealthier than the United States because you have four hundred fifty five million people so you can engage in commerce and trade across the continent of Europe with the same ease that we engage in commerce and trade across the continental United States you should have a sustainable growth economy that can weather the short-term here in Europe but then you have a second door and that’s fertility and immigration it’s gonna be hard enough to integrate the infrastructure then you got that second door you’re not reproducing your numbers your fertility rates the lowest in the world you could increase fertility go to Denmark I understand there are pregnant women all over the sidewalks you cannot walk in Denmark what is gonna wear of our Danish people what is going on here what is going on you’re surprised something’s going on bad football team nothing to do it’s what it’s called as you have better childcare provisions for infants go to France fertility rates are up my old friend Michele will card said to me why we start school at the age of three there is a place to put our children I guarantee that more European parents will have children if there was quality child care and so after this lecture night go home and reproduce and then make sure you put the right subsidies into child care but even with this you

got to open up the doors the immigration 50 million people won’t even do a trick you need much more and let me say there’s a little bit of fear about immigration and let me be honest what the fear is you’re worried about Muslim immigration not just Turkey but North Africa and you’re worried that they won’t respect cultural diversity in other words they won’t respect every culture you’re worried they may take the unskilled jobs of your high school graduates at cheaper pay you’re worried that there may be crime in the street you’re worried that the welfare system may collapse and you’re really worried that right wing xenophobic fascist political movements will emerge across Europe which they are and it’ll be the implosion of the European experiment and you’re back to the 1930s square one but the way to deal with the fear I have yet to hear how do you embrace immigration except to say we’re frightened we can learn a chapter from John F Kennedy when John F Kennedy became president he said to a generation of baby boomers ask not what America can do for you that’s what you can do for America can you imagine if some politician were to get up in Europe and say hey you know what that’s not what Europe can do for you ask what the young people here can do to make Europe the standard for the global public square and a global vision and a beacon for the rest of the world would that be unusual but here’s what John Kennedy did he actually put the mission he said we’re gonna set up the Peace Corps and the domestic Peace Corps vishton we’re gonna let our young college graduates get a little teeny subsistence money to commit themselves to helping other people to go out in communities around America around the world and share their skills with each other because the immigrants have something to share why not a European Welcome Corps why not take the 1 million Erasmus student graduates and all the other young kids in college give them a little subsistence salary after school and then let them go out to the front gates let them be trained to welcome the young immigrants with job skills training break bread share music the immigrants have many skills to teach us and many cultural narratives to teach us wouldn’t that be a great commitment for the next generation of Europeans I can’t tell you how many people went through Peace Corps and Vista and maintained a commitment to idealism the rest of their life it changed their life last thoughts on as we do this you’ve been very patient there are there I’m not sure how thick this European dream is I really am not sure how thick it is I’m not sure how soft or how thick this young generation is I gotta say that in America the immigrant young people over 150 years were tough they were committed they sacrifice for the next generation and we were the standard we were the gold standard the question of how thick this dream is I think depends on a number of things but there’s some things you can borrow from us Americans they’re parts of the American Dream worth salvaging that will make your dream a common dream and a global dream here’s what I think about the American dream that needs to be salvaged in Europe the individualism it’s the core the American Dream is our strength and our weakness it was our strength during the frontier because you have to go it alone you have to be self-sufficient you had to swim or sink but in a globally connected world where we’re all vulnerable to behavior somewhere else no one can define freedom as go it alone even Bill Gates with all of his money can’t be free in the old American sense I’m an island I’m independent of everyone else because even Bill Gates is not immune to a SARS epidemic computer virus global warming or terrorist attack or stock market scandal what we can learn from Europeans is solidarity you do have an understanding that you are part of a larger world and like it or not were vulnerable interdependent we better learn to get along but what Europe can learn from us there’s a strength in our individualism and it’s not the independence part it’s the personal accountability part what our parents teach us is you never blame someone else for your life your life is your responsibility you make it as you will you better take personal accountability for your life with due respect sometimes there’s a tendency in Europe that I have seen to place responsibility on other people for one’s condition one’s condition it’s the other political party it’s whoever’s running the government it’s capitalism it’s socialism it’s post modernity there’s someone else that’s responsible a global dream requires personal accountability you can’t say the other person or the government is responsible because then the dreams not thick enough the other aspect of the American dream that I like is our optimism our sense of hope and

risk-taking show me a defeatist or a pessimist or a cynic or a Euroskeptic and I’ll show you someone that has no dream because they’re saying tomorrow’s going to be worse than today that’s not a political vision for our children’s generation dreams require hope optimism and risk-taking because dreams are what we’d like to be we need to sacrifice and have the confidence that our sacrifice will pay off somewhere in the future if we could take the American sense of personal accountability optimism hope and risk-taking graft it on to the European dream which is about solidarity then we have a great global vision inclusivity multicultural diversity good quality of life balance work and play sustainable development with the earth universal human rights in peace we used to say the American Dream is worth dying for the European dream is worth living for and I