by Richard Fernandez
While the US is focused on its own domestic dramas, Europe as the Economist puts it, “is bleeding out”. Silently, exsanguinating below the fold, but bleeding all the same.
It is a car crash of a data release. One simply can’t look away. Hard to know precisely which part of the euro area’s latest unemployment report is the most grimly compelling. …
Individual country numbers inspire their own brand of horror. Greek joblessness topped 27% in January (the most recent month for which data there are available), while Spanish employment has risen to 26.7%. Joblessness in France rose by slightly more in the year to March than it did in Italy. And did you know that Dutch unemployment rose by 1.4 percentage points over the past year? German unemployment, of course, has held steady at 5.4% since last summer.
It is the youth figures that are most remarkable, however: 59.1% of those under 25 are unemployed in Greece, 55.9% in Spain, 38.4% in Italy, 38.3% in Portugal, 26.5% in France—3.6m youths in all.
Yet that would not appear remarkable to anyone who understands what state-controlled economies really are. Hope and Change economies are crony capitalist systems which pick winners and losers. They maintain the status quo at all costs — and reward those who have captured government over those who innovate. Thus the Reuters headline “Banks saved, but Europe risks ‘losing a generation’” is perfectly comprehensible.
What else would happen but that?
Naturally this plight is explained to the desperate voters as the consequence of the remaining vestiges of capitalism. The growing impoverishment, we are told, is occurring because socialism hasn’t gone far enough. Only give the government more power and all will be well. And so the low information voters turn out in the streets offering to exchange what little freedom they have left for some low paying jobs and a little welfare. The poorer they are the more eager they become to trade their last liberties for one more benefits check.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way.
The ability of young people to study and work anywhere in Europe as part of the EU’s single market ideal was also supposed to deliver vastly improved opportunities for all.
But instead, as a result of the banking and debt crisis that has cast a shadow over Europe since 2008, those sunny prospects never materialized for millions of young people.
“Greece, Spain and Italy have perhaps the best educated generations they have ever had in their countries, their parents invested a lot of money in the education of their children, everything they did was right,” said Schulz.
“And now they are ready to work the society says, ‘No place for you’. We are creating a lost generation.
May Day rallies erupted all over Europe with a single resounding message: end “the excesses of reckless capitalism”, put a stop to the abuses of the “laissez-faire parties on the European right” and in their place implement more “tax and spend”. And whatever the shortcomings of that approach, the Left will surely insist on that solution. They will insist on even more progressives being appointed. And when these numerous icons of the left worsen the plight of the “lost generation” it will still be capitalism’s fault.
Making official what many Democrats have expected for weeks, President Obama plans to nominate Chicago business executive Penny Pritzker, a longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser, as his new Commerce secretary on Thursday morning.
Pritzker’s nomination could prove controversial. She is on the board of Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was founded by her family and has had rocky relations with labor unions, and she could face questions about the failure of a bank partly owned by her family.
With a personal fortune estimated at $1.85 billion, Pritzker is listed by Forbes magazine among the 300 wealthiest Americans. She is the founder, chair and CEO of PSP Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and its affiliated real estate investment firm, Pritzker Realty Group. She played an influential role in Obama’s rise from Illinois state senator to the nation’s 44th president, serving as Obama’s national finance chair in his first campaign for the White House and co-chair of his reelection campaign.
The entrepreneur has now inherited the mantle of the European Jew. He has become the designated scapegoat of the cabal in power. Heads socialism wins. Tails the entrepreneur loses. There doesn’t have to be a reason why. Society doesn’t do reasons any more. Donald Kagan who has just retired from Yale ruefully contemplated the possibility that “democracy has had its day” because the academy is now churning out low-information graduates. It teaches “cool” because its too dangerous to teach anything else.
“The tendency in this century and in the previous century at least has been toward equality of result and every other kind of equality that could be claimed without much regard for liberty. Right now the menace is certainly to liberty. … Democracy may have had its day. Concerns about the decline of liberty in our whole polity is what threatens all of the aspects of it, including democracy.”
But I think Kagan is wrong. The impulse for freedom never dies simply because, as I pointed out in the post Freedom, free societies are more information rich than collectivist, statist hives. There is no escape from poverty, stagnation and tyranny except through the information, technology and innovation that liberty brings. So however much they march, however many Penny Pritzkers they nominate the only way the Lost Generation will ever see a job again in their lifetimes is to repudiate the Mayday nonsense.
Freedom is the only way out. The last exit.
The Left has now set the fuse for its own demise. Like Kim Jong-un of North Korea it can do anything but produce. The bureaucracy it generates can do everything but govern. And therefore the poverty will deepen.
Democracy may have had its day, but tomorrow eventually comes, and when the sun rises the Left will have had its day. Ironically the public will never see the shift coming until it is right upon them. Until almost the end the acolytes of the establishment in the media will push the Narrative until it finally goes up in smoke.
The great hope for America, ironically, is Europe. It is further along the glorious road that President Obama seeks to tread than America. And its fortunes — or misfortunes — will serve, just as in the 1940s, as a kind of tragic morality play to illustrate where certain tendencies lead. Truth comes hard, but it comes.
RICK: Sam, if it’s December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York?
SAM: Uh, my watch stopped.
RICK: I bet they’re asleep in New York. I’ll bet they’re asleep all over America.
The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.