by William Teach | May 11, 2010 9:30 am
First we had the NY Times saying “perhaps that socialism stuff ain’t all that great in Greece,” now we have the Washington Post chiming in
The massive emergency fund assembled to defend the value of the euro is backed by a political gamble with an uncertain outcome: that European governments will rewrite a post-World War II social contract that has been generous to workers and retirees but has become increasingly unaffordable for an aging population.
Unaffordable because the government is essentially trying to be the caretaker to everyone for everything. Sound familiar?
And though economists and other analysts generally agreed that the program was necessary to prevent a full-blown financial crisis, they also agreed that it won’t work unless European governments follow through on promises to bring down their large deficits and restructure their economies to become more competitive. Otherwise, the “breathing room” created by the new fund will quickly disappear.
Government debt has been flagged by the IMF as a chief risk to economic recovery, particularly in the developed world and in such high-debt emerging economies as Hungary.
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Hmm, that sounds familiar.
“We can’t finance our social model anymore — with 1 percent structural growth we can’t play a role in the world,” European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Monday in remarks at the World Economic Forum in Brussels, just hours after European Union finance ministers approved the new program. European growth rates are lagging behind those in the United States and the rest of the world as the recovery takes shape, with Spain and Greece still in recession.
Still ringing a bell, can’t quite remember about what.
But the political challenge looms large, cutting to the heart of Europe’s postwar identity. Particularly in the south, unions and socialist movements have established generous work rules and social welfare programs.
This is the future of the United States as progressives like Obama, Pelosi, and others are pushing for. A Big Nanny society where everyone is taken care of on everything and deficits are out of control while productivity and GDP are greatly diminished. Essentially, what Obama and the Democrat Congress are doing right now.
And when the eventual collapse comes, the same folks that live their lives at the teet of the government will have hissy fits just like in Greece.
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