I’ve grown slightly anxious about my bet with John Quiggin on European unemployment.  But Sumner’s a great therapist:

An optimist like me would argue that we aren’t about to copy the French
statist model; dramatically higher minimum wages, generous UI benefits,
national health care, higher taxes, etc.  Oh wait . . .  Seriously, as
bad as it looks to conservatives, there is a lot of ruin in a nation. 
So I still think there is only a 10% or 20% chance we will experience
French-style ” hysteresis”…

Indeed, I think there’s a modest probability (say 5%) that a viable candidate with emerge in 2012 to play Reagan to Obama-Bush’s Carter-Ford-Nixon.