Why Europe’s Chances of a Strong Economic Recovery Are Slimmer than the U.S.’

Outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium (Yves Herman/Reuters)
The continent’s market rigidities and its lack of effective federal structures and a shared political outlook are liabilities in times of economic distress.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE E ven before Donald Trump’s presidency, the United States was rarely cited as a paragon of good governance. From chronic partisan polarization, gridlock, and the weakening of the legislative branch to the horrific death toll from the current coronavirus pandemic, there’s no shortage of reasons for pessimism about America.

Yet a dysfunctional federal government that can nonetheless take action in real time is preferable to no government at all. Just consider the EU’s acrimonious four-night summit in Brussels, which finally yielded agreement Tuesday morning on a modest recovery package and a budget for 2021–2028.

For all the bitter partisanship, our Congress passed the


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