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The European Union, which only 17 years ago set a goal to “leapfrog” the U.S. in economic growth and innovation, is today on the verge of dissolution. Don’t take our word for it — they’re the ones saying it.

In a recent White Paper, the Euro-Poobahs, led by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, sketched out five scenarios for the future of the EU. One proposal would essentially dissolve the current bureaucratic structure of the EU, and replace it with what once was the sole reason for its existence: A European single market. It’s probably the only hope.

That this is being discussed now tells you everything you need to know about the EU’s dire condition today.

The truth is, none of the 500 million people in 27 European countries that belong to the massively-indebted EU like being ruled by an unaccountable bureaucracy. It has become not merely oppressive, but actively dangerous, advising countries to do economically foolish things and letting masses of “refugees” from the Mideast and Northern Africa migrate to Europe — destroying communities, disrupting law and order, and creating a massive welfare state that requires ever-higher taxes to support.

The truth is, the EU’s top-heavy bureaucrats mandate everything from the ingredients in Parma ham and fruit jam to the size of vacuum cleaners and how bent a banana or a cucumber can be. Other absurd examples number in the thousands, far too many to list.

Even an exasperated Pope Francis has weighed in, saying “bureaucracy is crushing Europe.” Yes, it’s that bad.

Worst of all, the EU is not even a democracy in any meaningful sense of the word. This is what happens when bureaucracy, not people, rules.

Take the elected European Parliament. It meets in Strasbourg, France. But the bureaucracy is in Brussels. So about once a month, the whole Parliament — all 751 members and 9,000 or so others, including staff, lobbyists and journalists — pull up stakes and go to Brussels. And the lawmakers “make” no laws at all. They only vote on laws from the nonelected European Commission — a virtual dictatorship of bureaucrats.

Is it any wonder that dismantling the whole mess is now viewed as a real possibility? Britain is thriving after voting to leave the EU. Maybe the rest of the EU can, too.

And, yes, this is relevant to Americans today. For one, the EU has not “leapfrogged” the U.S. The average American today produces about $52,000 in real GDP. The average EU citizen produces about $35,000. And the gap is growing wider.

Even so, the stagnant, dysfunctional EU is the same vision American progressives have for the U.S. — bureaucratized, undemocratic, heavy-handed and inefficient, soul-less socialism-lite.

The lesson is, Europe would be wise to dismantle the EU while it still has the chance, and the U.S. would be wise not to repeat the EU’s failures.

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