With inequality on the rise, global debt higher than ever and international tensions intensifying, the political backlash to the crash of 2008 has only just begun.
The worst-performing eurozone countries are mired in depression or deep recession; their condition is worse in many ways than what economies suffered during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The best-performing eurozone members look good, but only in comparison.This system cannot and will not work in the long run: democratic politics ensures its failure. Only by changing the eurozone’s rules and institutions can the euro be made to work.
Dollars and Sense
Dear Dr. Dollar: It seems like Puerto Rico’s economic and financial mess came out of nowhere. Until recently, there wasn’t much about Puerto Rico in the press, but what there was seemed to portray things as fine, with a generous amount of funds going to the island from Washington. Sometimes, Puerto Rico was held up as a model for economic development. So where did the current mess come from? —Janet Sands, Chicago, Ill.
Puerto Rico is in crisis. But the crisis is not about how to pay Wall Street. It is about the impact of centuries-long economic devastation on the men, women, and children—especially children—that live in Puerto Rico. While failure to pay the banks and the vultures makes headlines in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, the human misery caused by five centuries of colonialism does not.
What is needed is not structural reform within Greece and Spain so much as structural reform of the Eurozone and a fundamental rethinking of the policy frameworks that have resulted in the monetary union’s spectacularly bad performance. Failure to restructure Greece's debt would be a failure of democracy and morality.
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Yanis Varoufakis blog
Yanis Varoufakis is currently the Greek Minister of Finance. In this essay, posted to his website one year ago, he explains why he believes that radicals must work to stabilize the Eurozone on a more equitable basis so as to mimimize human suffering and to provide the time and space to develop a humanist alternative to Corporate Europe. He also describes the influence of Karl Marx on his views and asserts the necessity to embrace -- critically -- Marx's insights.