This was my finest hour

13 Sep, 2013 at 15:53 | Posted in Economics | 1 Comment

Ten years ago, in September 2003, the Swedish political elite asked its citizens if they wanted to join the eurozone. Of the more than 80 % of registered voters participating in the referendum close to 57 % said NO.

I’m proud I participated in the fight against the euro and the political-economic establishment in Sweden.

New figures from Eurostat shows that the unemployment rate in the eurozone is still in double digits. This is of course totally and utterly unacceptable. Unemployment is not only an immense economic waste. It is also a cause of poverty. In a civilised society, everyone should have the right to work. The kind of austerity policies that the euro now forces many countries to pursue, counteracts the goal of a full-employment society.

The celebrated optimism of traditional economic theory, which has led to economists being looked upon as Candides, who, having left this world for the cultivation of their gardens, teach that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds provided we will let it well alone, is also to be traced, I think, to their having neglected to take account of the drag on prosperity which can be exercised by an insufficiency of effective demand.

John Maynard Keynes

Looking around in euro-land today one has to ask oneself: How much whipping can democracy take? How many more are going to get seriously hurt and ruined before we end this madness and put the euro where it belongs – in the dustbin of history!

1 Comment

  1. I agree: the Euro is probably finished. But it does have its merits, e.g. disposing of the costs involved in converting one currency to another when buying or selling in another country.

    There is a way of preventing competitiveness divergence (the root cause of the periphery’s austerity), and that is to organise some form of quick and imposed internal devaluation, rather than impose austerity for years in the hopes that devaluation ensues.

    That would require the Euro authorities to impose a wage freeze or even a wage cut in countries with balance of payments deficits.

    Persuading Europe’s citizens that that policy is in their own best interests would take some doing. It would be difficult. But it’s that or the end of the Euro, as far as I can see.

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