One of the signs of intelligence is learning that a certain action is ill-advised, and detrimental, and stopping and never repeating it again. Animals understand this simple concept as a matter of survival, and one would expect human beings would at least be a little more intelligent than animals, but history is rife with stories of morons repeating their, and others, mistakes regardless they will never get a different result. After the devastation wrought by the 2008 economic downturn and subsequent worldwide recession, the European Union was certain that if they pursued a path of austerity and slashed government spending, their economies would recover quickly and prosperity would ensue by cutting government spending to reduce debt and deficits.
With a new President that listened to economic experts’ warnings that austerity during a recession would slow growth, kill more jobs, and perpetuate recession, America took a different path under President Obama and injected a small stimulus that staunched job losses and put the economy on a path of recovery. After five years of austerity and economic retardation, European nations have realized that austerity was a mistake and are calling for governments to abandon it and inject stimulus to encourage growth and reverse crushing unemployment. Republicans however, being true conservatives, are not only holding fast to Europe’s failing austerity economics, they are pushing for more in spite of the devastation Europeans are trying to correct.
The International Monetary Fund’s chief economist recently released a technical paper that noted “Forecasters significantly underestimated the increase in unemployment and the decline in private consumption and investment associated with fiscal consolidation (austerity),” and added that “they had corrected the forecasting error in the October 2012 World Economic Outlook.” The European Union’s president, Jose Manuel Barroso, said last week that the European Union was easing austerity policies and deficit reduction targets to help boost growth because the Eurozone’s unemployment rates continued to rise to another record high in March; overall, 12.1% of Europeans are now unemployed. Other European nations are exhibiting intelligence as well, and some, like officials in France and Italy are calling for total abandonment of austerity to save their nation’s economies from certain doom.
In France, officials charged that the entire debt-ridden continent needs to “stimulate growth at all costs,” including adding more debt if the region is going to ever climb out of the still on-going economic and financial crisis that began with Republicans’ crashing the world economy in 2008. In his first address to parliament, new Italian Prime Minister, Enrico Letta, complained that “Italy is dying because of austerity alone. Stimulus policies can no longer wait,” and in Spain, the economy contracted for the seventh consecutive quarter in the first three months of 2013, and like the rest of austerity-crippled Europe, growth is stagnant or non-existent. Even European leaders who are not yet ready to abandoned austerity altogether are considering it to help countries like Spain and Greece whose unemployment rates are over 27 % , and although not as intelligent as French and Italian officials, they are at least seriously contemplating ending austerity.
What is interesting, is that although American leadership is pushing Europe to consider ending devastating austerity measures because Europe is America’s number one trading partner, Republican lawmakers are still laser-focused on retarding growth and increasing unemployment by continuing to pursue debt and deficit reduction with deeper cuts than the sequester because it guts vital programs and retards economic growth. If Americans have learned anything over the past four years, it is that Republicans are not interested in any policy that might help the economy, create jobs, and spare Americans the damage European residents have suffered for the past five years. The Republicans are in league with conservatives in England and Germany who, despite slow or negative growth and higher unemployment, are unwilling to admit austerity is a monumental failure and want the process run its course and send the economy into recession on the way to decimating what is left of America’s pitiful safety nets.
The one readily obvious fact is that every nation under conservative control, including the United States, is still pushing deeper austerity that kills jobs, retards growth, and sends millions of their residents into poverty. In fact, the only Western nation that stopped the recession and turned the economy around after the 2008 economic crash was America because President Obama’s stimulus put America’s growth on a faster pace than Europe hoped to experienced, but since 2011 when Republicans took control of the House, deficit reduction frenzy and austerity succeeded in preventing economic recovery from taking full effect. As the full force of spending cuts and debt reduction damage began in earnest last year, Republicans began clamoring for more. Republicans, like European conservatives, have not shown the intelligence any animal possesses and instead of learning their actions are ill-advised and creating suffering for the people, are bound and determined to repeat the same mistakes Europeans made except Republicans know the outcome will not be any different and will celebrate higher unemployment and slow economic growth the same way they have with sequester cuts.
The only reason America’s economy recovered and stopped hemorrhaging jobs was because of the President’s government spending (stimulus) that has typically driven economic recoveries in America over the years. However, recovery began to plateau, and in fact slowed, since Republicans convinced President Obama and Democrats that there was a phony debt crisis with stunts such as the debt ceiling debacle that set debt and deficit reduction frenzy in motion the nation is suffering today. Republicans have never had a view towards helping perpetuate the recovery, and have made every effort to stop it in its tracks with programs like the jobs and economy retarding sequester. Republicans know, like European leaders are realizing, that austerity is an economy-damaging policy, and that President Obama’s stimulus created the economic recovery that eluded Europeans until they realized their mistake and began exploring steps to correct them. Republicans however, learned Europe’s austerity mistakes destroyed jobs and halted economic growth and are actively pursuing ways to repeat them and it is not because they lack intelligence, it is because they hate America.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.