More Sad News from Europe is Sad News for America and a Wake Up Call

Posted from London–Continuing our perspective on Europe and especially Britain, on November 16th both the Bank of England and the UK government announced figures for growth, inflation, and unemployment.  It was not, as noted earlier, an attractive picture for any of these key economic indicators.

Unemployment in the UK rose to 2.62 million and stood at 8.3%. Unemployment was at a 17 year high in the UK. Growth projections were cut from 1.5% to 1% for both 2011 and now 2012, but with inflation at 5%. In short, the outlook is a disaster and due entirely to the austerity policies of the Tory led government determined still to fire hundreds of thousands of public servants, impose higher taxes on the poor, and cut back the social safety net.  Some people are predicting a double dip recession in the coming months.

But the Tory and Lib Dems will likely be going forward with billions of pounds of bonuses and other payments to the rich City banks barons who with their greed helped to cause the economic debacle.  Another example of the ToryLibDem defense of the rich bankers is their opposition to the “Tobin Tax” on financial transactions, which the Germans and French are pushing in order to obtain needed funding for governments in a time of heavy debt.  George Osborne, the right-wing Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer said such a tax would be “a bullet aimed at the heart if London” —read: their rich backers in The City.  At the same time they are cutting welfare for the poor and unemployed.

Should sound familiar to those in the U.S.watching the GOP votes in the Congress on stimulus bills and the announced policies of their presidential candidates.

It was announced that a new government was formed in Italy under Mario Monti and the Greek government was completing its formation, but the papers were filled with news that the Euro bond yields were soaring as the prices fell across the board in a vote of no-confidence in regards to the Euro zone’s ability to put their house in order. Every day here seems like a day of bad news and unabated crisis.

These are all warning signs for America.  A defacto “austerity” approach forced by the Republicans with their “veto” over all legislation will bring down our own economy. With no real growth in America likely due to Republican intransigence in permitting any stimulus along with the outlook in Europe, bleak is as they say “a British understatement.” It will harm greatly our ability to shape a safe and prosperous world.

By Harry C. Blaney III.

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