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Joseph Stiglitz: Seven Changes Needed to Save The Euro And The EU. Time for EU Reform Or Divorce?

Euro_breakdown collapse

  • Joseph Stiglitz: Seven Changes Needed to Save The Euro And The EU
    by ,  
    Time for EU reform or divorce? Unless Brussels makes seven changes, its members will inevitably conclude they are trapped in an untenable marriage

    To say that the eurozone has not been performing well since the 2008 crisis is an understatement. Its member countries have done more poorly than the European Union countries outside the eurozone, and much more poorly than the United States, which was the epicentre of the crisis.

    The worst-performing eurozone countries are mired in depression or deep recession; their condition – think of Greece – is worse in many ways than what economies suffered during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The best-performing eurozone members, such as Germany, look good, but only in comparison; and their growth model is partly based on beggar-thy-neighbour policies, whereby success comes at the expense of erstwhile “partners”.

    Four types of explanation have been advanced to explain this state of affairs.Germany likes to blame the victim, pointing to Greece’s profligacy and the debt and deficits elsewhere. But this puts the cart before the horse: Spain and Ireland had surpluses and low debt-to-GDP ratios before the euro crisis. So the crisis caused the deficits and debts, not the other way around.

    Deficit fetishism is, no doubt, part of Europe’s problems. Finland, too, has been having trouble adjusting to the multiple shocks it has confronted, with GDP in 2015 around 5.5% below its 2008 peak.

    Other “blame the victim” critics cite the welfare state and excessive labour-market protections as the cause of the eurozone’s malaise. Yet some of Europe’s best-performing countries, such as Sweden and Norway, have the strongest welfare states and labour-market protections.

    Many of the countries now performing poorly were doing very well – above the European average – before the euro was introduced. Their decline did not result from some sudden change in their labour laws, or from an epidemic of laziness in the crisis countries. What changed was the currency arrangement.

    The second type of explanation amounts to a wish that Europe had better leaders, men and women who understood economics better and implemented better policies. Flawed policies – not just austerity, but also misguided so-called structural reforms, which widened inequality and thus further weakened overall demand and potential growth – have undoubtedly made matters worse.

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Only 10 countries out of the 18 will form the “United States of Europe”. This is the endtimes 10 Horn Beast empire. Click on image for article.

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August 24, 2016 - Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , , ,

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