Arnold Kling

Federal Europe?

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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Law Professor Andrzej Rapaczynski argues that federalization of Europe would reduce government inefficiency.

Indeed, the creation of a European federal government and the elimination of national intermediaries would probably lead to the greatest liberalization of the economy (and society as a whole) in Europe's entire history. Look at America in 1787: creation of the federal government swept away the balkanized system of pre-revolutionary colonies, ushering in an era of entrepreneurial expansion across the entire American Continent.

The simple fact is that Europe as a whole is too diverse to be captured by the economic and political interest groups that now dominate national states. It is only as an additional level of government that the EU appears onerous and bureaucratic. If it were to displace national governments, its burden would be weightless in comparison to what exists today.

One problem with that analysis. As another law professor is fond of pointing out, the governments of Europe's national states are democratically elected. The Eurocrats are much less accountable to the people, which makes them far more dangerous.

Discussion Question. Do you agree with Rapaczynski that the Constitution of 1787 "swept away the balkanized system of pre-revolutionary colonies"?

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