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Sat Feb 25, 2012, 10:43 AM

Krugman: European Crisis Realities (the Republican story, the German story, and the truth)

There are basically three stories about the euro crisis in wide circulation: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth.

The Republican story is that it’s all about excessive welfare states. How does that hold up?



Hmm, only Italy is in the top five — and Germany’s welfare state was bigger.

OK, the German story is that it’s about fiscal profligacy, running excessive deficits. Here’s the average budget deficit between 1999 (the beginning of the euro) and 2007:



Greece is there, and Italy (although its deficits were not very big, and the ratio of debt to GDP fell over the period). But Portugal doesn’t stand out, and Spain and Ireland were models of virtue.



What we’re basically looking at, then, is a balance of payments problem, in which capital flooded south after the creation of the euro, leading to overvaluation in southern Europe.

And the key point is that the two false diagnoses lead to policies that don’t address the real problem. You can slash the welfare state all you want (and the right wants to slash it down to bathtub-drowning size), but this has very little to do with export competitiveness. You can pursue crippling fiscal austerity, but this improves the external balance only by driving down the economy and hence import demand, with maybe, maybe, a gradual “internal devaluation” caused by high unemployment.

...what the Europe really needs is a general European reflation. So let’s hope that they get this ...

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/european-crisis-realities/

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Reply Krugman: European Crisis Realities (the Republican story, the German story, and the truth) (Original post)
pampango Feb 2012 OP
snagglepuss Feb 2012 #1
fascisthunter Feb 2012 #2
applegrove Feb 2012 #3

Response to pampango (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 10:54 AM

1. to read later

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 11:03 AM

2. it's the anti-socialist agenda to destroy all welfare around the world

 

so the 1% and their maggots get to keep more for themselves. These people who want to destroy socialism, are destroying society itself, these people are sick....

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 09:27 PM

3. GOP is busted!

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