Middle Way is Europe's 'Way Out' (Italia Chiama Italia,
"Obama is a European-style social democrat, not a revolutionary. ... There
is a lot of talk about economic recovery in 2013. But if there is any, it will be
in America, not in Italy, nor in Spain, nor in any other European country at
risk. ... On a visit to Italy, Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman
- a liberal - diagnosed European countries with having 'austerity poisoning.' ...
Unemployment in America remains high, at around 8 percent, and the economic
recovery is bumpy. But America is on the right track, while imperiled European
countries are on the wrong one."
Washington: The inaugural address of the second Obama presidency
seems to have impressed the public, especially his defense of gay rights. But defending
gays is only the symbol of a program that could change America. It is a reform
program that in Italy might be described as no longer centrist, as in his first
term, but one inspired by social democracy. Having sensed this, Republicans
accuse the president of "socialism," a term equivalent in America to
This is an unfounded accusation because Obama is a
European-style social democrat, not a revolutionary. The president wants more
social equity and economic justice; he wants an America in which human and
civil rights are respected, where finance and private industry are regulated
for the common good, and where bloodbaths cannot be committed in the name of
the right to bear arms. In accomplishing this program, on Obama's side is
Hollywood, where directors as diverse as Spielberg and Tarantino have made two
films that masterfully summarize his objectives.
about the president who abolished slavery, is a warning to political forces
that all citizens are equal before the law, and that their dignity and
livelihood must be protected in the same way. In Tarantino’s Django, about a heroic
Black cowboy from the legendary Wild West who engages in bloody shootouts, although
he abhors violence, is an indictment of the abusive system of oppression established
by the rich and powerful, and an exhortation to the weak and poor to peacefully
join forces. The two filmmakers couldn't be more different, but they have both
captured the spirit and aspirations of the majority of Americans who reelected
From the polls, it appears they eagerly await his reforms. Health
care reform marked Obama’s first term. If the president manages to bend
Republicans, he will do more than just prevent falling off the "fiscal
cliff" - the financial abyss into which America is likely to drop due to budget
deficits and sovereign debt. From capitalist paradise to social democracy, Obama
will also set the stage for a national transformation, a really "big deal"
modeled after the "New Deal" of Roosevelt, the president who overcame
the Great Depression of the 1930s and defeated the Nazis in WWII. This will be to
the benefit of Europe, where American imbalances have has disastrous repercussions
since the 2008 crash. And Europe would do well to pay close attention to Obama's
program and imitate it as far as feasibly possible.
There is a lot of talk about economic recovery in 2013. But
if there is any, it will be in America, not in Italy, nor in Spain, nor in any
other European country at risk. This is clear to see by the performance of the
various economies: the American economy is growing by around 2.5 percent per
annum; the Italian, Spanish, etc., are in continuous decline. This is also
reflected by the opposing strategies of America and European countries. America
has slightly reduced public spending and taxes and has massively stimulated
private industry, while Italy, Spain, and others have dramatically cut expenditures
and raised taxes while investing almost nothing. At this rate, it appears
likely that in 2013, the American economy will take off, while ours and Spain's
will instead become increasingly dysfunctional.
On a visit to Italy, Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman - a liberal - diagnosed European countries with having
"austerity poisoning." In America, Krugman
observed, Obama has cut federal jobs, but not to the point of creating hazardous
unemployment. And why not? Because health and public education provide a good
portion of the jobs to Americans which then feed consumption.
Posted By Worldmeets.US
At the same time, the president has provided hundreds of
billions of dollars of incentives to private industry, to which the Federal
Reserve has granted enormous loans at practically zero interest. Obama has contributed
to America's economic recovery with a slight reduction in taxes, which compounded
the budget deficit and sovereign debt - but not irretrievably.
Unemployment in America remains high, at around 8 percent,
and the economic recovery is bumpy. But America is on the right track, while imperiled
European countries are on the wrong one. As far as Italy is concerned, it may
be that indignation over wasteful spending and the scandals of our political
culture will prune our parasitic power elite - including in the regions and
provinces. But this won't produce sufficient savings. Supplementary
intervention following the American example is required. The painful structural
reforms of the Monti government will yield few results
unless accompanied by tax cuts and economic stimulus. Our February elections may
provide an auspicious moment for some clarity on this point.
Italy is also in need of a "big deal." It's true
that America is not as handicapped by global finance - which is in fact an
extension of American finance - as Italy and Spain are. But it's up to Brussels
to partially lift this burden from Rome and Madrid, because they are no longer
capable of withstanding extreme sacrifice without falling into social chaos and
a depression analogous to the experience of Greece, which would echo across
Mario Draghi, president of the
European Central Bank, is operating like Ben Bernanke at the Federal
Reserve. The governments of strong countries like Germany should operate like
Obama and give consent to governments in weaker nations to revive their
economies. This is the only way the sovereign debt of the latter can be
contained, and in the midterm be reduced.
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