Eurostar is this week’s most-hated transit provider, leaving 100,000 passengers stranded in London, Paris, or somewhere in between because “fluffy snow” mucked up the high-speed trains that carry people in the undersea tunnel between Britain and France.

Short-term: fun to make fun of the Brits and the French. Long-term: the joke is on us.

The chaos engendered by Eurostar’s temporarily failure underscores how extensively Europeans have come to depend on a critical piece of infrastructure that didn’t even exist two decades ago.

Europe built something that has strengthened the Paris and London economies by tying two dense cities more closely together. Britain benefits because it can attract France’s best talent, as French citizens know that they’re only a short, cheap, efficient train ride away from their families (this week notwithstanding). France benefits, too: it’s started to reform its economy under competitive pressure from Britain.

And quality-of-life wise, Eurostar has helped London compete against New York, too, for financial-industry talent. They could eliminate that advantage with taxes, of course, but so could we.

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