Europa är inte USA

30 Nov, 2011 at 10:38 | Posted in Economics | Comments Off on Europa är inte USA

Martin Feldstein påminner oss om fundamentala skillnader och varför en valuta fungerar over there och inte alls här:

The key argument made by European officials and other defenders of the euro has been that, because a single currency works well in the United States, it should also work well in Europe. After all, both are large, continental, and diverse economies. But that argument overlooks three important differences between the US and Europe.

First, the US is effectively a single labor market, with workers moving from areas of high and rising unemployment to places where jobs are more plentiful. In Europe, national labor markets are effectively separated by barriers of language, culture, religion, union membership, and social-insurance systems …

A second important difference is that the US has a centralized fiscal system. Individuals and businesses pay the majority of their taxes to the federal government in Washington, rather than to their state (or local) authorities … There is no comparable offset in Europe, where taxes are almost exclusively paid to, and transfers received from, national governments …

The third important difference is that all US states are required by their constitutions to balance their annual operating budgets. While “rainy day” funds that accumulate in boom years are used to deal with temporary revenue shortfalls, the states’ “general obligation” borrowing is limited to capital projects like roads and schools …

None of these features of the US economy would develop in Europe even if the eurozone evolved into a more explicitly political union …

The most likely effect of strengthening political union in the eurozone would be to give Germany the power to control the other members’ budgets and prescribe changes in their taxes and spending. This formal transfer of sovereignty would only increase the tensions and conflicts that already exist between Germany and other EU countries

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