Tags: wolinsky | spring | europe | america

The European and American Spring?

By Jacob Wolinsky   |   Thursday, 04 Aug 2011 07:01 AM

The debt deal that was reached this week between the GOP and Democrats made me angry; it was a total sham and will result in large tax increases, which the GOP wanted to avoid.

Since there are thousands of articles criticizing the deal I wanted to focus on some astonishing numbers coming out of the Euro-Zone, which is related to our debt problems.

The Euro-Zone long touted as the model economy by liberals like President Barack Obama, is in total disarray.

The numbers on unemployment are staggering. The official unemployment number in America is 9.2 percent, however, in reality it is far higher because it does not include people who gave up looking for work. However, by any metric the Europeans should be extremely jealous of us, and we should be happy we are not in their rout.

Youth unemployment (ages 15-24) is at 46 percent in Greece! What about other countries? In Spain the numbers are 39 percent! Even in Germany, which is portrayed as the best of the best in Europe unemployment is at 9.1 percent, only slightly below America’s rate.

Back to Greece, the numbers mean close to 50 percent of young people cannot find a job. The numbers are only slightly better in Spain, and across the PIIGs (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), youth unemployment is over 27 percent in every country.

Earlier this year, President Obama touted “The Arab Spring,” where young peaceful demonstrators, upset over chronic unemployment, ousted the Presidents of Tunisia and Egypt. Obama was a strong supporter of these protesters. He did not have the foresight to see that the big power brokers, the Muslim extremists were waiting on the sidelines to fill the vacuum.

Tunisia’s new constitution might contain a clause that forbids any diplomatic relations with Israel. In Egypt, even the liberals will admit the country will now likely stay a military dictatorship or if elections do occur the extremists will take over.

How bad were the conditions in these countries, and current countries where there are large protests? In Egypt youth unemployment is 25 percent, and in Tunisia it is 30 percent, both lower than Greece or Spain.

There are clear differences between the Arab countries and European countries, however, for those who say it cannot happen in Europe, should learn some recent history.

Greece did not become a democracy until 1974. Spain did not become one until 1976, when Francisco Franco, who Adolf Hitler helped place in power died. In truth, these countries are only recent democracies.

Civil unrest could break out and there is a chance that the countries could erupt in chaos, become communist dictatorships or fascist dictatorships.

While, America has a much more stable political history than Greece or Spain, Obama is taking us down the same road as those countries economically. Debt to GDP officially reached 100 percent once the debt ceiling was passed. In Italy Debt to GDP is 119, and in Greece 135. Our number is likely to continue increasing as Obamacare kicks in, and the baby boomers retire.

Right now we could be on the verge of a European Spring.

America should stop trying to imitate Europe and do what it does best, be the best country to live in. If America does not reverse its current course and get its fiscal house in order, possibly an “American Spring” as well.

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