Transatlantic Divergence: pursuing the theme that America is doing the least worst among major economies, here’s a chart…. In the early stages… unemployment rose more rapidly in the US than in Europe. This mainly reflected differences in institutions: it’s much easier to fire people in America. From some point in 2010 onward, however, the US situation has gradually improved; initially some of the drop in unemployment was basically people leaving the labor force, but more recently there have been solid though modest gains in the ratio of employment to the relevant population (you have to adjust for aging). Meanwhile, Europe has gotten much worse; now formally in recession, but the truth is that it has been going downhill all along.
Why the divergence? The obvious answer is that the austerity stuff broke out in 2010, and the austerians took over policy much more completely in Europe than in the United States.
But there will be no reasonable discussion, no consideration of any evidence, because, as Forbes writer and Cato scholar Timothy Lee writes:
On macroeconomics, a broad spectrum of economists, ranging from John Maynard Keynes to Milton Friedman, supports the basic premise that recessions are caused by shortfalls in aggregate demand. Economists across the political spectrum agree that the government ought to take action…. But rather than engaging this debate, a growing number of conservatives have rejected the mainstream economic framework altogether, arguing--against the views of libertarian economists like Friedman and F.A. Hayek--that neither Congress nor the Fed has a responsibility to counteract sharp falls in nominal incomes...
Notably, Friedman and Hayek are icons of free market economics, but the right has increasingly abandoned any sensible connection with where the discussion needs to be. Lee is talking specifically about counter cyclical economic policy which is based on fundamental economics, but conservative ideologues now run from it the same way creationists run from evolution.
In his article at Forbes, Lee talks more broadly about "conservative's reality problem." It extends well beyond the field of Economics.