Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life

Thomas Geohegan, New Press, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-59558-403-8
Labor lawyer and Europhile, Geohegan (Which Side Are You On?) makes a passionate case for the high-tax, regulation-heavy model of life on the Continent. Using Germany as a model, he argues the middle class is the real beneficiary of European social democracy—its members reap free education, free child care, free nursing home care, guaranteed vacation time, and generous unemployment payments—while their white-collar American counterparts struggle to pay for the same. "Europe is set up for the bourgeois," writes Geohegan. "America's a great place to buy kitty litter at Wal-Mart and relatively cheap gas. But it's not set up for me, a professional without a lot of money." While he's quick to acknowledge that critics seize on labor's costs and prominence as a potential path to the collapse of the system, he's convinced of the framework in place. The narrative unspools in a chatty, anecdotal style; it's jumpy, appealingly digressive, and winning, all the more so for being such an unabashed polemic that refuses to be resigned to the rising rate of inequality in the U.S. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/14/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 332 pages - 978-1-59558-706-0
Ebook - 338 pages - 978-1-59558-608-7
Open Ebook - 353 pages - 978-1-59558-789-3
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