I read the reviews in The New York Times Book Review.
I read the reviews of the new books by Giles Merritt, James K. Galbraith, and Joseph Stiglitz. I read with rapt attention. This, because I've been writing articles about the EuroCrisis for the past 6 years.
Of course, The Drs. Merritt, Galbraith, and Stiglitz don't need me to explain the EuroCrisis to them. And I don't need them to explain the EuroCrisis to me.
"Everybody knows what everybody knows." ~Slim Fairview.
The first of "The Quotations of Slim Fairview (c) 2016
When there is a crisis, or a disaster, as with the European Economy, it is a sad indictment of Economics that Economists will tell us what happened and why rather than tell us what will happen and what to do about it.
I am in good company.
Chancellor Merkel has been a strict adherent to austerity. On the other hand, President Obama has been an advocate of Economic Stimulus. Now, to insure that I do not sound too Keynesian, let me express it in Republican Terms. "You have to spend money to make money."
Ken Rogoff, the purported architect of austerity expended some energy making the Network rounds. He appeared on CNBC, on CNN, and on BBC--World News America. Each time he said the same thing.
"Even if we go back to 2010...."
Can we go back to 2010? No? What else have you got?
"Even if we were to wipe out Greece's entire debt...."
Can we wipe out Greece's entire debt? No? What else have you got?
When Fareed Zakaria asked Dr. Rogoff, point blank, about the success of President Obama's economic stimulus programme, Dr. Rogoff made a sarcastic allusion to the economic travails of Puerto Rico and returned to Europe. "Even if we were to wipe out Greece's entire debt...."
Now, there is Urban Legend suggesting that some youngsters majoring in Economics tried running Dr. Rogoff's numbers through the computer and failed to duplicate his results. The story died with no resolution, or conclusion. It is still urban legend.
Back to the EuroCrisis and Slim Fairview's Empirical Method of Analysis.
Did we try austerity?
Did the European economy get more high, good, better?
Did the European economy get more low, bad, worse?
Abandon austerity: embrace economic stimulus.
We all know what Einstein said. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Slim Fairview builds on that. "By extension, the argument can be made that sanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results." Meaning. We had economic stimulus. We had good results. Europe embraces economic stimulus, Europe has good results.
Some may cite slowing global growth as part of the cause of Europe's problems. Others may say that Europe's economic travails have been part of the cause of slowing global growth.
Heart Warming Moments.
When the reviewer, Paul Hockenos, imputed the following to the author, James K. Galbraith:
"The EU erred egregiously in making draconian austerity policies the price of Greece's rescue...." And concluded the paragraph, "Greece's withdrawal from the Eurozone, he suggests, would have been preferable." I wrote, the problem is not that Europe can't afford Greece. The problem is that Europe can't afford Germany.
The latter, a sentiment expressed to Steve Liesman on Squawkbox by a guest as Mr. Liesman indicated with..."So in other words, what you're saying is Europe can't afford Germany."
The review by Roger Lowenstein of The Euro, the book by Nobel Laureate Dr. Joseph Stiglitz was more dense. Just as Mr. Lowenstein says of the book. (imagine an economic text written by Michael Moore.) I would have written, imagine an economic text written by Marie-Claire Blais.
Mr. Lowenstein "indicts" Dr. Stiglitz for descending to slurs evoking the Nazi era; but, concludes the paragraph with, "The fact is, German industry is more productive."
I reject the Nazi slurs. That the German economy benefited from deficit spending elsewhere in Europe has been generously expressed. However, I would have written, Merkel fed the German economic machine at the expense of the Satellite Nations in southern Europe.
The example "US v. EuroUnion" vis-a-vis their respective structures is something I expressed--perhaps not eloquently--several years ago in an interview with solotablet.it
As far as the democratisation of the EuroUnion, I would suggest that The European Commission exists for one reason and one reason only. To justify the existence of The European Commission.
MIGRANTS are NOT the problem. Merkel is the problem. However, I called that in 2013 when I wrote:
Merkel's Big Lies? Ten tactics used in an Economic Putsch. Or, Merkel's Economic Theatre of Operation.
"Austerity only makes it sound bad. I just wanted to balance the budget."
"Don't you think I've seen the posters of me dressed as a Nazi? Poor me. I'm the victim here."
And, I did forecast the unrest and the rise of the right.
I posted Greek Proposal. Tsipras folded. Merkel issued a fait-accompli, and Tsipras returned to Greece with his tail between his legs.
I also wrote This is Brexit.
I also wrote This is Brexit.
"But don't bother listening to me. Everyone always doesn't listen to me." ~Slim Fairview
The last quotation from "The Quotations of Slim Fairview (c) 2016
Copyright (c) 2016 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.