Steven Hill: So according to Krugmanomics, taking on too much debt is not the problem – it’s not being able to pay the debt that is the problem. And Krugman’s solution, apparently, is to be able to depreciate your currency and/or default on your debts, leaving the creditors holding the bag.
Steven Hill: Germany has evolved a social capitalism which has proven to be more stable and efficient than America’s Wall Street capitalism, not to mention more ecologically sustainable.
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.
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.
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.
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
Steven Hill: No one has been more influential in defining this narrative than New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.
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.
Steve Hill: the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel not only pursued different economic policies than the Obama administration, but Germany also has a greater degree of economic democracy than the U.S.
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.
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.
Steven Hill: Ironically, the overblown stridency over new Muslim immigrants only has served to obscure the failure of Europe to integrate its longstanding ethnic minorities, most of whom are the children or grandchildren of immigrants and have resided there for years.
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.”