Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Europe in economic crisis mode: What do I know?

In case you have not heard there is a European debt and looming catastrophic economic crisis. Studying articles I can understand the US bankster-induced economic implosion beginning over 30 years ago and coming to a head during the George Bush Republican theft of power 2001-2007 I have culled a few, what I think, are salient economic truths for bad times. I know I am NOT an economist and I further know that is a distinct understatement. Nonetheless I, naturally, have an opinion or two.

Europe is on the precipice of an economic cliff which is not only contagious to other European states it is a pathogen for this country as well. Why should we care about Europe? We care about Europe because we are a global economy and Europe is our largest trading partner. If Europe goes down the economic drain it will rein in spending and that whooping cough spreads its disease quite obviously to us as trade between the US and Europe would be significantly reduced. Companies in this country would suffer, employees would be laid off, unemployment would increase yet again, our already weakened economy would drift back into double dip recession or worse depression and, well, here we go again. As my Jewish mother following centuries of Jewish tradition would say when contemplating an impending tragedy – Poo poo God forbid perish the thought!

There is agreement on a way out, I think, by many who truly know about things economic and who have concentrated study on the 1929 Great Depression. My particular favorite economic academics are Paul Krugman and Robert Reisch. They know what works to prevent further contagion and what is curative for an impending deep recession or a looming depression.

In our country most Republicans who are not cerebrally dead ... well, a few who are not, know the prescription too and it is, even they know, most definitely NOT austerity. Those who say austerity is in order do so because it sounds so good and they simply want to ensure in patriotic fashion our president and by extension the country fail so they can regain power. Is that patriotic or treasonous? You be the judge.

It is well known that austerity in a major recession or depression is like withholding food from an anorexic. It WILL kill. A nation's debt is NOT like household debt where cutting one’s spending and reducing debt is the elixir.

It’s a COUNTRY for goodness sake and GOOD government’s job is to save its people from danger in this case joblessness by providing jobs to those who need it while inducing the private sector to invest to create jobs understanding that those who have jobs, even public sector jobs, WILL spend what they earn and jolt the larger economy thereby increasing the tax base. Spending through job creation is what an economy in crisis needs. Austerity as we see in Europe brings joblessness, reduced spending and ultimately increases public anger. Does debt have to be dealt with at a future some time? YES OF COURSE but not now.

Europe needs rescuing and a country such as Germany which has a stable economy and wealth has been the one to help but does so not from the goodness of its heart. ALL of Europe needs an infusion of significant cash to stabilize the Euro -- NOW.

Austerity threw nearly all of Europe into fury as singularly 25% joblessness can do so well. Revolutions are made from fury and revolutions by their very nature ARE violent. WWII sprang in part from such fury and gave the world the gift of fascism and on the other side of the spectrum, the gift of Stalin. When in crisis people simply love to be told, nay ordered, what to do and Hitler we remember made the trains run on time while creating a war machine that surely ramped up the economy. What a price the world paid for that!

Just what we want a repetition of Europe’s historical tyranny – NOT. An austerity prescription now whether in the US or Europe is, as I see it, trouble. Then again what do I know? Do not take my word for it Google Paul Krugman and/or Robert Reisch to get their opinions. Better still read another favorite of mine NYT Joe Nocera’s wonderful NYT editorial today on the European crisis here.


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