As screwed up as the US government is, the collective governments of Europe manage to be even more screwed up. With a few exceptions. Eurozone Recovery Grinds to Halt Amid Ukraine Fear – ABC News.
If you want an object lesson in how to have a good economy – look to Europe. Some people do it one way, and some the other. The winners and losers sort themselves out in the marketplace.
Europe’s biggest economy [Germany] remains the continent’s standout performer. It has low unemployment and took steps to cut business taxes and costs years ago.
Years ago, during the boom times of the late 90s, the Chancellor of Germany – Gerhard Schröder – took drastic steps. He cut unemployment benefits, (the social security state in general, really) and changed rules on employment. (Hiring and firing.) Agenda 2010 (as the policy was known) resulted in some disruption, but the results are staggering, when you compare to the states that did nothing.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Stagnating France and Italy are balking at politically tough reforms that would lower costs for businesses. France’s economy was flat in the second quarter. Italy’s shrank 0.2 percent, for the 11th drop in the past 12 quarters. So-called structural reforms include easing rigid rules on hiring and firing, and especially in Italy’s case, reducing choking bureaucracy and corruption.
Greece’s economy has at least stopped shrinking. Well, almost – it shrunk 0.2 percent in the past year. But the economy of Greece is 25 percent smaller than it was a few years ago.
This isn’t rocket science. You make things good for business, and you get business activity. Jobs. Taxes. Growth and opportunity. Make things tough on business with high taxes, corruption (another tax usually), etc. and you get less business activity. Fewer jobs. Lower tax revenues. (Which side of this equation do you think Greece was on, before it imploded?) This lesson is lost on so many.