There is Europe and then there is the US. The whole idea was that they were two distinctly different "cultures;" The US being the tough, rugged, individualistic, don't give me your freaking charity General Patton types who pull themselves out of poverty with sheer hard work and ingenuity. And Europe being more of the caring, compassionate type, who is willing to lend a hand (other people's hands, matter of fact) and institute a more socialist society. Not that they are rivals or enemies, but in the grand scheme of things, two neighbors with differing political views, that still like each other none the less and can get along. Additionally, having the option allows for true diversity and if the more entrepreneurial wanted to leave Europe to chase their dreams in the US, or those in the US wanted a cushy government job and never really wanted to build an empire, but just live a decent life in Europe, so be it.
But the two are merging and becoming more homogeneous than we think;
Even under George Bush, dictator, tyrant, puppy killer and one who talks in the theater, the trend in the US has been to increase spending. I know we all like to point to his tax cuts, but they're not real tax cuts as they haven't been accompanied by cuts in spending. This is merely postponing taxes into the future as all government spending must be paid for with taxes. Either today, or tomorrow, they must be paid. Ergo, spending is the real measure.
But Europe as well has been trending towards America, cutting their spending and abandoning their more socialist aims.
We (the west I mean) will all become boringly the same. The French will be less French. Americans will be less American, and therefore less warranted to pick on the French because we'll be more like them. And worse still there will be no more real "America." It will be socialism lite under Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. And, despite what lefter leaning types will claim, we will lose the one thing that has made America different and better than Europe and made us once the beacon for the massive emigration out of the old continent and the envy of the world; economic freedom.
You can come here, but you're going to face 40% tax rates.
You can build a company here, but we're going to tax your corporation first at 40% and then you at another 40%.
You can live here, but you're going to have to pay for all of our retired population who so poorly planned for their retirement, that they'll need another $10 trillion in subsidies to pay for their medical care.
Sadly, the US will become another European nation, not unique, not special and definitely not American. And the only countries that will be "American" will be the various smaller nations such as Bermuda, Switzerland, the Caymans and Hong Kong, and China which is trending rapidly to an old school style America.