Wednesday, January 09, 2013
The media hasn't been talking much about the European financial crisis, and is giving the impression that all's well. It isn't.
The ever prolific Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge has a must read piece on the subject...must read because it's a red flag alert as to where America is headed if we continue on the path we're on:
The economic situation in Europe is far worse than it was a year ago, and it is going to continue to get worse as austerity continues to take a huge toll on the economies of the eurozone.
It would be hard to understate how bad things have gotten – particularly in southern Europe. The truth is that most of southern Europe is experiencing a full-blown economic depression right now. Sadly, most Americans are paying very little attention to what is going on across the Atlantic. But they should be watching, because this is what happens when nations accumulate too much debt. The United States has the biggest debt burden of all, and eventually what is happening over in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece is going to happen over here as well.
The following are 20 facts about the collapse of Europe that everyone should know...
#1 10 Months: Manufacturing activity in both France and Germany has contracted for 10 months in a row.
#2 11.8 Percent: The unemployment rate in the eurozone has now risen to 11.8 percent – a brand new all-time high.
#3 17 Months: In November, Italy experienced the sharpest decline in retail sales that it had experienced in 17 months.
#4 20 Months: Manufacturing activity in Spain has contracted for 20 months in a row.
#5 20 Percent: It is estimated that bad loans now make up approximately 20 percent of all domestic loans in the Greek banking system at this point.
#6 22 Percent: A whopping 22 percent of the entire population of Ireland lives in jobless households.
#7 26 Percent: The unemployment rate in Greece is now 26 percent. A year ago it was only 18.9 percent.
#8 26.6 Percent: The unemployment rate in Spain has risen to an astounding 26.6 percent.
#9 27.0 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Cyprus. Back in 2008, this number was well below 10 percent.
#10 28 Percent: Sales of French-made vehicles in November were down 28 percent compared to a year earlier.
#11 36 Percent: Today, the poverty rate in Greece is 36 percent. Back in 2009 it was only about 20 percent.
#12 37.1 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Italy – a brand new all-time high.
#13 44 Percent: An astounding 44 percent of the entire population of Bulgaria is facing “severe material deprivation”.
#14 56.5 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Spain – a brand new all-time high.
#15 57.6 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Greece – a brand new all-time high.
The problems with the entire EU project stemmed from a number of really bad ideas.
The idea that you could cram people from very diverse cultures into a common financial union was flawed from the start, as was the idea that you can have a welfare society and an immigration society at the same time. As America is also starting to find out, you can have one or the other, but not both for very obvious reasons.
Another problem with a socialist nanny state nirvana that ultimately dooms it is the fact that people don't have children. After all, if you're essentially secular or even agnostic and your entire society is focused on cradle to grave management of all your affairs, children really just become a drain on your own hedonistic lifestyle, so why bother? In that kind of society, there's no point unless you love being a parent for its own sake. Certainly you likely won't have the pleasure of seeing them grow up to attain more than you did in life.
Lest you think this is strictly a European problem, keep in mind that one of the hallmarks of the age of Obama is a sharply lowered U.S. birth rate,coupled with an abortion rate of 337,000 last year by Planned Parenthood alone - about one every 94 seconds.
The European leftist elite figured that Muslim immigration would pick up the slack and pay for the party but as it turned out most of those immigrants ended up costing more in social welfare benefits than they provided in tax revenues. And the culture they brought with them involved incurring a number of uncomfortable and costly side effects as well.
The Europeans, especially countries in southern Europe then tried to finesse the gap between what they were spending and what was coming in by simply running huge deficits, with the obvious end results.
The sheer misery many of the people in Europe are suffering today amounts to more than just mere numbers and will effect them deeply for a long time to come. But they have one advantage over us.
Europe still has NATO and an American commitment to defend them - for now.Since the beginning of the Cold War, they have been able to avoid spending much on defending themselves because America cheerfully picked up the bill, not that we got much gratitude for it.
If America continues along the path we're headed on, we will eventually experience what Europe is going through now..except there's no one to farm out America's defense to.