The No-Growth TrapIssue: Nov-Dec 2011
WELL BEFORE the summer’s horrific shootings in Norway, many citizens of the Western democracies had the sense that the social fabric was fraying in unexpected places. The Danes restricted immigration in violation of the European Union’s Schengen Agreement. The lower house of the Dutch parliament voted—by nearly four to one—to outlaw ritual Muslim butchers (and, along the way, kosher butchers too). The French banned burkas in the streets. The Swiss banned minarets. In America, we are fighting over whether to build a wall between Texas and Mexico and litigating how far individual states can go in enforcing their own laws that bar undocumented immigrants and deny public benefits to those here legally.