While the European project is struggling to remain afloat through the destructive, vicious circle of austerity and dogmatic monetary policy choices that have been made over the last five years in the euro zone, the United States seems to be overcoming the crisis started in 2008 by following the opposite approach from Europe. Although the starting point of the current crisis that we are experiencing in Europe was the destabilized American banking system, thanks to the Federal Reserve the United States has exited the crisis faster while paying less humanitarian cost than Europe has paid so far. But, honestly, is this only a result of the flexibility that the Federal Reserve has to print money as a tool to boost the growth of the economy?
There is no doubt that if the United States had not had a wise leader like Barack Obama in power during these critical times, the country would probably have remained trapped in the waters of a stagnant economy and social demolition. Anybody who watched President Obama’s latest State of the Union address can easily realize why the American economy and society are getting better and better, and taking active steps towards relieving the pain provoked by the Lehman Brothers collapse. Obama’s speech was a praise to everything which in Europe is nowadays demonized and exterminated as an alleged constraint to the euro zone’s recovery: the middle class, the welfare state and the equal opportunities that the state should provide to the new generation of young employees in terms of improving their access to education, new technologies and entrepreneurship.
While the United States is getting rapidly prepared to compete with emerging economies like India and Chine in quite a broad range of fields from the space’s exploration to investing in research and new technologies, Europe is diving deeper and deeper into misery being incapable of answering to the new challenges of the 21st century. Divided between lenders and borrowers and misled by internal and dysfunctional conflicts of interests among its member states, the whole European project is in danger of being demolished. And the reason for this will not be a potential Grexit, but the insistent denial of Europeans to see the impasse that their policies are creating in Europe; policies that are increasing unemployment rates of young people, broadening inequality between social classes and reinforcing skepticism in the society about the necessity for Europe to exist.
So is Greece Europe’s core problem? Obviously not. Europe will remain in trouble as long as its leaders fail to outline a viable road map for exiting the current economic and political crisis by refocusing their decision making on support for middle class and young entrepreneurs and investment in innovation rather than antiquated economic policies.
Originally posted on huffingtonpost.com