Friday, May 28, 2004

Easy Bets

One easy way to win bets with Europeans (or other takers) is to insist that the latest goofy U.S. trend will soon be taken up by the Europeans. Obesity is the subject of the current hand-wringing. The U.S. is no longer the only place on Earth where the rich are thin and the poor are fat.

The European papers are full of solutions. Ban fat people from restaurants? It is seen by some as the logical extension of banning smokers from bars. Talk about slippery slopes! Many English are concenred( embarrassed) that the Irish did it first.

In a recent satire piece in the WSJ, P.J. O'Rourke speculated on the many benefits of the U.S. recusing itself from the world (Iraq, the UN, etc.). He concluded with the thought that they would like us again; they would line up to see our films, buy or magazines, watch our TV shows (or copy them).

Actually, we export; they import. Trade surplus!