"For the last twenty years or so, the European economy looked tired, sluggish, beset by chronic unemployment while straining such muscle as it had to spread the "social" safety net ever wider, ever higher. At the same time, the American economy showed vigorous growth, resilience and innate energy. Europe was by and large social democrat, America unrepentantly capitalist. Opinions were deeply divided about the merits of each, mostly because they sprang from the ineradicable gut feelings of each side. Lately, however, the clean cut between the two systems has become more and more blurred. America has acquired a hugely expensive public health care system, an interventionist monetary policy to make Keynes blush, an inexorably rising deficit that made the Director of the Budget throw down his job in despair, a solid complicity between the labour unions, the tort lawyers and the administration, and an economy that seems unable to respond to doping and is crawling along as sluggishly as the European one. Perhaps a little too soon, some observers are now saying that the US have "Europeanised" themselves; both continents have become democratic in the same sense."