Agree or disagree, Rose Institute alumnus Henry Olsen pens a fascinating op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on “the GOP’s time for choosing”:
Mr. Huckabee, in other words, essentially gives Republicans a choice: Does the GOP want to become a Christian Democratic party? To answer that question, Republicans should look carefully at Christian Democracy to see if it is a model worth emulating.
Every country which has been primarily governed by Christian Democrats since World War II (Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands) is poorer than the United States, with substantially higher unemployment rates and slower economic growth. The differences aren’t even close.
…these countries also fare worse on common measures of family well-being. German and Belgian divorce rates are higher than those in America, and the Netherlands’ rate is roughly comparable. The 2005 out-of-wedlock birth rate was slightly lower in Germany (29%) than the U.S. (37%), but it was higher in Belgium (49%) and about the same in the Netherlands (35%). The overall birth rate in the U.S. is about 2.1 children per woman in her lifetime, about the level needed to keep the population stable. None of the Christian Democrat countries come close to that; Italy’s is a meager 1.2.