Bryan Caplan  

Has the Wall St. Journal Ever Actually Claimed that Europe is on the "Verge of Collapse"?

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One reader tells me that the Wall St. Journal's op-ed page has spent the last twenty years claiming that Europe is on the "verge of collapse."

Googling "Wall St. Journal Europe 'verge of collapse'" turns up little or nothing. In fact, my Econlog post is the fourth hit!

Can anyone confirm or rebut the charge against the WSJ?


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COMMENTS (7 to date)
Eli writes:

I did a ProQuest search of the Wall Street Journal (including the Opinion section) from 1984 to the present. The phrase "verge of collapse" appeared in an article with the word "Europe" exactly 8 times. None of the articles have anything to do with the collapse of Europe. The article that comes closest to supporting the reader's claim, from 1992, talks about the possible collapse of the market for ECU bonds. The lead sentence: "The market for bonds issued in European Currency Units, which just a year ago were touted as the new currency for the new Europe, may be on the verge of collapse." I think it is fair to say that the Wall Street Journal has NOT spent the last twenty years claiming that Europe is on the verge of collapse.

Tyler Cowen writes:

Sure it has, try for instance this: http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007760

William Newman writes:

I'm not sure the Mark Steyn piece fully qualifies: claiming that demographics guarantees that things must fall apart in about a generation isn't the usual meaning of "on the verge of collapse." Would anyone use the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall to justify a claim made in 1963 that the USSR was on the verge of collapse? The "on the verge" phrase might perhaps be used for things 25+ years out in the case of something like a retirement system whose whole point is to stretch across generations, but seldom in other cases, I think.

James A. Donald writes:

I pretty sure that my views on the collapse of Europe are as extreme as you are likely to find, and I have been predicting major crisis and collapse of regimes in 2025 (as compared to what seems to be the usual more moderate prediction, major crisis and radical change in 2035)

Bryan Caplan writes:

Tyler, how does a piece claiming that Europe is going to go Muslim during the next few decades to a century count as saying that "Europe is on the verge of collapse"?

TGGP writes:

Bryan, do you think that immigration to Europe (or America, or other such places) could cause a change in the political culture? In the Cato/ISI video you appear in you say political culture is extremely important, and you have also talked a lot about how non-economists underestimates the benefits vs costs of immigration. I've yet to hear you bring the two subjects together, but I would certainly like to.

Steven writes:

At least not in Review & Outlook, the editor's own commentary, last year. Europe attracts a lot of criticism on these pages but I do not recall that Europe was referred to as being either on the verge of collapse or in a similar state. I read the Journal (European edition) every day and never skip Review & Outlook, so I am pretty sure of this, but I can not confirm the same for the other 19 years.

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