Istanbul: Ancient City, Throbbing Metropolis

istanbul street

Steven Hill: Muslims, Christians, and Jews live in relative harmony here, yet it’s as if its too-jumbled history pulses within the walls, the monuments, the winding streets, indeed within each individual Turk now inhabiting this ground zero zone.

From the Top of the Acropolis: How Greece’s Economy Imploded

Propylaea

Steven Hill: When the true size of Greece’s deficit was revealed to the world, the bonds markets went berserk. The interest rates on Greece’s sovereign debt spiked to unheard of proportions, threatening the solvency of the government, and the rest is history.

Athens, Birthplace of Democracy

agora

Steven Hill: While democracy can be noisy and messy, and can sometimes result in confusion and inefficiency, if implemented fairly with the right institutions the human experience shows that it is capable of fostering remarkable things.

Greece: Epicenter of the Debt Earthquake?

Papandreou and Obama

Steven Hill: One of the qualities holding Greece back from enjoying the benefits of a more modern economy is its reliance on an informal economy of family and social networks which too often translates into nepotism, back room deals and tax dodging. But during an economic crisis like this, those networks become valuable

The Myth of the Overtaxed Europeans

Comedy Congress

Steven Hill: In return for their taxes, Europeans get valuable support systems like childcare, senior care, university tuition and healthcare. Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, for these support services often going without because the cost is prohibitive.

Europe Ponders U.S. Election Results

Christian Stoffaes

Steven Hill: Europeans are puzzled by the success of the populist Tea Party movement, which seemingly wants to roll back the last two years and return to how things were at the end of the Bush-Cheney years.

How’s Europe Doing?

Taksim Square

Steven Hill: When puzzled Europeans ask me to explain the American voter, the best metaphor I can give for understanding the American electorate right now is that of a coyote with its leg caught in a trap, suffering in pain, so now it is chewing off its own leg to get out of the trap.

French Protestors: “Where Are You Americans?”

french protests

Steven Hill: “Where are you Americans? Why aren’t Americans out in the streets? If Americans are angry, why aren’t they out in the streets like we are?” He said something quickly to his comrades in French, then reverted back to English. “It’s like Americans have gone to sleep or something. You used to have many protests.”

Slash Social Security? No – Double It

ss check

Steven Hill: Social Security Plus would provide a stable, secure retirement for every American and contribute greatly toward a solid foundation from which to build a strong and vibrant 21st century U.S. economy.

Europe’s Challenge: “Out of Many, One”

european map

Steven Hill: Perhaps the challenge for Europe is to reinvent what “union” means, fashioning suitable institutions for the 21st century.

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