In a rather disgusting testimony to the state of financial management in Europe, Spanish unemployment has provided statistical proof of what everyone suspected- Spain is down and not getting up again.
6 million Spaniards were looking for work with another 187,300 unemployed in Q4 2012.
There were 8.33 million Spanish households in which every potential worker was unemployed, it said.
The story for young people was even grimmer: the unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 24 soared to 55.13 per cent, up from 52.34 per cent the previous quarter.
That’s an overall increase of 5-6% for this younger group relative to the previous quarter. Derailing future generations seems to be the pattern of economic management in the world lately. The likely result will be a massive skills shortage in the near future. Other countries like the US and Australia achieve this with ridiculously overpriced college fees, but total economic collapse seems to work just as well.
Europe’s bloated financial dealings and “regulated” markets have apparently done nothing to prevent massive fiscal mismanagement. With Cameron talking about a referendum on UK membership, it’s not hard to see why the EU’s dubious credibility could be such an effective political platform. The Euro debt crisis is an own goal of massive proportions. The EU has described Cameron’s referendum idea as “selfish and dangerous”, as good a recommendation for EU-skeptical British voters as you could ever wish to see.
A return to Little Europe may not be a great idea, but if it wins political office, what the hell? Corruption thrives in mindless, regressive, rustic governments. The only likely winner on a national scale would be Germany, which could distance itself from its neighbours without a care, if lumbered with a few lousy customers.
The EU always had one thing going for it- A perception of efficiency and economic strength. The EU’s nutcase bankers have effectively sabotaged that. The question now is whether this unsightly collection of credit-providing morons has the backbone or the brains to tackle a real crisis.
Pictured is protest sign calling for European revolution.
If the UK does split, that’s a hole in the fiscal bucket for the EU. The UK is a global financial centre, and there’s a working argument for being out of the frypan in terms of exposure to Europe’s black holes. Italy is holding up, for now, but any sort of financial downturn could trigger a collapse. France is actually stronger than it looks, but not immune. Germany and the still very much limping UK can’t carry the EU on their own. Nor are they likely to try if a real meltdown occurs.
So who’s running the place? A cartel of brattish do-nothing bankers, like in the US, or the Euro version of the bizarre American political/financial/”any piece of psycho trash the cat dragged in” cabals? If Greece is anything to go by, solving problems isn’t their strong point. Nor is forward planning. Austerity has been the crock everyone predicted it would be. It’s merely deprived the lower income brackets of the ability to generate economic activity.
Put it this way- If you gave the most basic economic test to an economics student and proposed “austerity” as a remedy for a national level meltdown, you’d probably fail. Destroying the baseline economy isn’t and never has been good practice. The idea is to create a working generator of the money that pays taxes and gets nations out of trouble.
Nor does it make a lot of sense in hard money terms. Can Spanish kids or Greek pensioners pay for debt out of their wages and pensions? Of course not. Does destroying the businesses that pay VAT help Europe? If so, how? Does making any sort of career progress impossible for millions of younger Europeans equate to future prosperity? Does sending old people broke achieve national solvency?
Did success spoil Benito Mussolini? Hanging from a meat hook is a comparable career move to the EU’s current itinerary for systematically wrecking baseline economies. Theory isn’t fact. In any contest, facts will always win. Il Duce argued with the realities of his situation and lost.
When the G20 meeting was held last year, European officials objected to being lectured on their failings. Even admission of mistakes obviously wasn’t high on the list of priorities. Those mistakes are now getting worse. The rest of the world now has a point to make- This is costing us money. We don’t like it. Take the hint. While you’re at it, at least pretend to have some idea what’s happening to EU citizens as a result of all this brilliance.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com