Exacerbated by trickle-down austerity, the Eurozone unemployment rate has risen to 10.9%
The European economy is tanking – and trickle-down austerity is to blame. New unemployment numbers show the 17-nation Eurozone now has its highest unemployment rate ever, at 10.9%. And, the two nations with the highest unemployment rates – Spain and Greece – just so happen to be the ones most hooked on austerity.
In Spain, budget cuts and massive government layoffs have driven up the unemployment rate to the Eurozone high of 24.1%. And Spanish youth unemployment is even worse – at a staggering 51.1%. And in Greece – the poster child of European austerity, the unemployment rate stands at 21.7% with more than half of all Greeks under 25-years-old unemployed. Another austerity-bitten nation – the United Kingdom – just officially sank into another recession.
Clearly – austerity – which involves taking money out of working people’s pockets – forcing them to spend less and contribute less in revenue to the government – is making the economic situation in Europe far worse. But the banksters and billionaires pushing austerity don’t care – just as long as they can squeeze the last bit of wealth left in Europe into their own pockets. But with Nicholas Sarkozy going down in France, the Dutch government collapsing, and civil unrest in the streets from Madrid to London to Athens – then austerity might be breathing its last gasp. Let’s hope.
European countries were historically NEVER seperated nations. Lets not forget, those various European nations and races came together in the United States as well, and it works. In the past, the European countries pretty much belonged together -- their territories depended on the kings and emperors who ruled and the borders changed. The idea of nations is pretty young.
The idea of cooperating in a united Europe is very old -- Europeans dreamed that dream over all those centuries while suffering wars. In Europe was mostly war all the time -- consistent peace was rare.
No, the idea to unite Europe is, that trading nations don't fight each other. And this idea is older than libertarianism. It was born many centuries ago, when Europa was still ruled by kings. Those kings already knew : trading with other countries helps to keep peace.
The differences between central/northern Europe and south Europe are pretty much the same like the north-south conflict in the U.S. : backwardly conservative south. Italy, Spain and Portugal are very Catholic, in a mentally pretty backward way. Greece is orthodox and possibly even worse.
Lately I am following the German news-ticker on Yahoo and it's very interesting : Frau Merkel makes big government policy indeed. For example I read an article about the German Bundeskartellamt, criticizing her intervention in the free market. I just decided to call her Angie 'Eisenhower' Merkel. So what whining Bundeskartellamt? Germany booms and proves austerity wrong!
Or how about this : Merkel's green change!
I love Angie -- she's amazing LOL!
If you like to stress differences, just compare our North-American/European culture to cultures like Asia and Africa. For these pretty much are different worlds and it's difficult to relate to them.
But you cannot divide European nations, they very much belong together. France and Germany were sisters and brothers, just separated because they belonged to different kings. Parts of Poland once were German, the Netherlands once were a state of the German Empire, as Austria too. Parts of northern Italy belonged to the German empire, the south to the king of Spain. Italy as a nation is very young. The kings of Sweden and Denmark were the emperor's vassals as state rulers in Germany, Spain owned Belgium. Great parts of eastern Europe belonged to Austria, although occupied by the Turks for some time. Others were rule by Poland.
England of course is pretty much different, kind of separated on their island. Greece is also very much different from the rest of Europe : it was occupied by Turkey for a long time and anyway tends to the east as Orthodox Christian culture.
No, Europe actually is a cultural unit, and it's nations on the continent very young. Even the German nation did not exist before 1870/71! Germany was an empire. The idea of a German nation is actually very against nature. There has never been a united German nation; they were just Bavarians, Saxons, Franks, Frisians ect....
The idea of a united Germany as a nation is just as libertarian as the idea of a united Europe. And maybe it was during the 1800s, when mass misery ruled -- already caused by libertarians indeed and inspiring people like Karl Marx.
The point in the U.S. is, our market is pretty much dead. So this makes the "buy American" paroles necessary. My father thinks this was wrong and he isn't totally wrong. Well, I think we need this right now, but we shouldn't overdo this and end up in radical protectionism. Trade between nations and even continents and cultures is very old and has always been useful. Basically we have to consider, if we don't buy other nations stuff, they will refuse to buy ours. Protectionism and separatism is ignorance and leads to degeneration. And actually racism isn't far from protectionism and separatism.
At some point, we can only hope we will look back on the Modern Age and especially the 20th century and see that the "we-they" extremes of both communism and fascism were failures. The post-modern world should depart from the extremes brought about by the Industrial Revolution, which was predatory capitalism and its opposite reaction that led to the nastiness of Stalin and Mao.
At present in this country, you have the GOP being pushed, I think, by the paranoid, John Bircher, libertarian Koch brothers into trying to "starve the beast" of government and essentially establish one-party rule which would then be succeeded by what? Austerity is the last policy established before destroying a vibrant middle class, and now the greatest one the world has ever seen. That could essentially leave this country in its own rubble, spreading Detroit's malaise everywhere.Thom is always nailing it precisely. I hope Republican "populists" (tea party) realize at some point they have been generally duped. They stand to lose the most from the very Koch-head policies they endorse. It is like watching lemmings on a suicide path. Crazy.
We have to get free of the strictures of the political mythologies and assumptions of the past and forge a new American government that is free of the tendencies to bribery created by the alliance of business and state. To have any real capitalism, the state has to belong to the people and be powerful enough to protect us all from the predatory "capitalists" that wind up robbing all humankind.
where is ravi batra? i'd be interested in his opinion on this!
der... the thing is we're getting to be as bad as europe in term of our debt. source: http://www.usdebtclock.org/world-debt-clock.html
jobs keep going over seas.
all of my friends in corp america are afraid to lose their job.
they work overtime without pay.
then look at the way the government is spending spending spending and taxes ARENT BEING RAISED ON ANYONE. even those who can afford it. you know the >=100,000 (individual) crowd. the ~6%. sorry. you need your taxes raised if you make over 100k. and if you make over 5x10^6 you need taxes in the range of 80%.
honestly i think the end of the american dollar as the reserve currency is near. i think we're going to be growing beans in our back yard because food is too expenisive at the grocery store.
It's all part of a natural cycle in global economics and psychometry. Do yourself a favor and read "The Genius of the Beast" by Howard Bloom. Stop thinking like your TV and your computer screen. Stop buying the party line. Stop spreading political hype. Stop thinking you have to be right. Stop thinking that the answer lies in some political ideal. Stop believing the incessant thoughts in your head. Stop believing in fences (limitations). Start loving your neighbor.
Are you a nihilist? No convicitons at all??
WOW, Alan Lunn, you're saying a lot of very intelligent things in your comment! Don't miss this folks : click "reply to #7" above in this comment!
There's still a bug left that bites me since yesterday: You CANNOT compare the Catholic Church to nazi imperialism! As you CANNOT compare any of that to the Spanish, English ect. empires! These empires just happened, because they were successful. But they hadn't any idea to rule the world, as Hitler had. All these empires just went out for natural resources -- above all gold and germs. The Spanish king needed gold to finance his court and wars. Some ship-masters went overseas for scientific reasons, but mostly it was resources and getting rich soon. Economical GREED -- oh well, we know that...
The old Romans just slipped into becoming IMPERIVM ROMANVM, after defeating Carthage's empire, which had threatened them. Colonialism just made Rome wealthy after that -- economical GREED again. PAX ROMANA was just propaganda to whitewash that greed. The Roman Church was misused by greedy popes and other clerics, but to me it still is the institution founded by Jesus.
Let's now go to the Holy Roman-German Empire, which I know better than the modern Germany. This was a relatively peaceful empire. When it started on Christmas Day A.D. 800, it was sort of Germanic emancipation -- inheriting the Roman empire. This empire did not only guarantee peace, it also had a social function. People who felt suppressed by local aristocracy had the option to complain to federal institutions of the empire, to start an investigation. And they often got help. Living in a town that directly was owned by the emperor was considered to make free (for example Käyſer=Stadt Franckforth/ today Frankfurt). This is the I. German empire -- the only really legitimate one (they already had the Dollar/Dahler/Thaler). The II. empire basically was Prussian treason and robbery, the III. one just Hitler's paranoia. Of course today's post-empire democracy is legitimate again. Interestingly it is a federation again, pretty much basing on the federal structure of the I. empire.
Let's go to the English empire : this was economical GREED again. Same goes for the empires of Portugal and the General States of the Netherlands. Sorry, you CANNOT compare these empires to Hitler's insanity. Napoleon is another issue. The French kings envied the status of the German emperor since the middle-ages, and this was the reason why they attacked the German empire again and again. Napoleon was finally successful, after Prussia weakened Vienna. It was basically Prussian selfishness that helped Napoleon. But had Napoleon crazy dreams, comparable to Hitler's? I don't think so, but frankly don't know much about Napoleon. Generalizing history is a very-very awkward thing and makes me feel very-very uncomfortable.
Austerity doesn't work, but just last the last Great Depression they're going to starve us trying to force it on us.They will beat the dead horse of austerity until they are tired.
Yesterday Thom mentioned Co-operativism as an alternative to Capitalism as we know it. I don't think I have ever heard labor considering that option, at least not from the labor leadership. Somehow it seems that as a society we are locked in an insane dance of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. On the left (the further left, not necessarily the far left) it seems that the hope is that if Obama gets his second term he'll become more FDR-like. Now I do believe FDR was indeed a fantastic president, and he did usher in a very prosperous era for America, however, as he himself said he saved Capitalism from itself. On top of that and in retrospect, he either postponed the demise of Capitalism or oversaw the pendulum swing back to more economic fairness. So now the further left wishes to again postpone the demise of Capitalism, or hope that the pendulum will swing back. Either case entails re-regulating our financial institutions and improving our tax codes. Well fine that may very well again bring us a temporary era of economic fairness in which unions again gain strength by swelling of membership. But the key word is... temporary, and is that the best we can hope for? I don't think so. The occupy movement's most prevalent theme is 'no leaders' of the movement but consensus decisions. Because of this I think that building a cooperative work force is indeed the natural direction that the occupy movement should be heading. Instead of occupying public spaces and foreclosed homes, they should seriously consider and earnestly occupy abandoned factories/businesses and re-open them as cooperatives. Labor proceeds capital, if labor takes over the reigns of production, then production becomes management and total equality in the workplace will be hard to contain in the workplace. I guess I just think that its absurd to think that demanding the 1% to change their ways by protest is going to substantially change anything. I think its time for labor to realize, they don't need top down management, that work places can be completely ran democratically and there is no reason to wait for someone to say it is OK to do so, in fact it is imperative not to wait for something that will never happen. If that were to happen, the 1% would have less and less capital to control government, because their Corporations profit margins will shrink. I know it won't be easy, and that occupying abandoned factories will be controversial to say the least, and being able to hold them difficult. Though I think there is a better chance of occupiers being able to barricade themselves in buildings and making the cost of removing them far more difficult then sweeping them out of public places. I believe Government's natural place is to administer to the needs of its society, and the form of any Government is shaped by its society. In our society we allow a few to tell many what to do, that is the very essence of our work culture. If we were to change our everyday work environment, in which we all feel we have a say, how could that not effect our Government and shape it into our everyday expectations of having our opinions listened to?