Having The Debate Europe Won't Have

A columnist in the Telegraph has an interesting take on Obama/Romney match-up. Janet Daley writes that all of Europe should be paying marked attention.
Last week’s Republican national convention sharpened what had been until then only a vague, inchoate theme: this campaign is going to consist of the debate that all Western democratic countries should be engaging in, but which only the United States has the nerve to undertake. The question that will demand an answer lies at the heart of the economic crisis from which the West seems unable to recover. It is so profoundly threatening to the governing consensus of Britain and Europe as to be virtually unutterable here, so we shall have to rely on the robustness of the US political class to make the running. 
Quite. (And: USA! USA!)

I concur only in part with a subsequent remark:
The crash of 2008 exposed a devastating truth that went much deeper than the discovery of a generation of delinquent bankers, or a transitory property bubble. It has become apparent to anyone with a grip on economic reality that free markets simply cannot produce enough wealth to support the sort of universal entitlement programmes which the populations of democratic countries have been led to expect.
Certainly there are limits we should debate about what a nation ought to provide its citizens. We don't want what Paul Ryan aptly called a society where "everything is free but us" and we live boring lives under the supervision of central planners. But I would amend the statement to read: "free markets in demographic decline simply cannot produce enough wealth...."  We could sustain Social Security and Medicare if we had the population paying in to the system to do so.

Republicans tend to think the fiscal issues are one thing and the social issues another. They aren't. The family --specifically, the marriage culture--  is the engine of the free market and those who think a society can be sustained in which adults are never civilized by marriage, contraception prevents most of the new generation from coming into existence; and 1/3 of those actually conceived are aborted, is eviscerating its free market and returning to the state of nature. Love really does make the world go round! (Have I recommended Redeeming Economics here yet?)

We were reminded of this last night because we watched The Naked Spur, a Jimmy Stewart Western ostensibly about a bounty hunter taking a murderer back to Kansas for the reward money and two untrustworthy grifters who latch on to him to "help." Like most westerns, it's really about the state of nature and on what basis civil society can be founded. (Answer: not greed, not lust, not mere individualism, but marriage.)