Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Many Young Americans Advocate More Socialism and Becoming More Like Europe ... Is That Really What We Want?

Socialism used to be a dirty word in America. Now for many Americans, and especially the young among us, it seems to be our role model.

The Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and even Donald Trump speeches say they will protect us from the world of competition. But they can't.

And they say that they will make things easy and free for us. But they can't.

And good and safe well paying jobs will be given to us for the asking. But they can't do that either.

Let's see what socialism and protection can do to us by looking at the facts on the ground in Europe today.

Europe's unemployment crisis is much worse than we thought is worth spending some time reading and then reflecting upon. It's subtitled 'Vast army of available workers means millions will be jobless for years:'

"Unemployment is running at more than 24% unemployment in Greece. It is above 20% in Spain, and in France and Italy it is well above 10%, and has been stuck at those levels for many years. Given those terrible numbers, you might think that the eurozone’s jobless crisis couldn’t be any more crushing.

But unfortunately you’d be wrong. In fact it is even worse than most people realize.

Why? Because the official statistics only capture people who are actively looking for work. There are millions more who would be working — if the economy were capable of generating jobs....

We have known for years that Europe has a serious unemployment problem. A mixture of weak demand, punishingly high payroll taxes, and restrictions on hiring and firing that favor insiders over outsiders have combined to create one of the most dysfunctional labor markets in the world.

In most countries the rate goes up and down, but in much of Europe it ratchets ups and then stays there. In France, for example, the jobless total went above 9% all the way back in the mid-1980s and it has bounced around that level ever since. In Spain it went from under 9% at the height of the last boom to above 25% after the crash, and, although it has come down a bit since then, it shows no sign of getting back to a level most advanced economies would regard as acceptable.

Initiatives come and go, but the army of the jobless remains in place.

What is also starting to emerge, however, is that Europe has a serious underemployment problem as well....

In Greece, for example, 72% of part-time workers would like more hours. In Spain it was 54% (which knocks on the head the myth — popular in Germany — of the lay-about Greeks and siesta-loving Spaniards).

Even worse, it found a huge army of people who could work, but are not seeking employment. In the dry language of the economics textbooks, they are known as “discouraged workers.”. . .

Europe is still in denial about the extent of the crisis in its jobs market. It not only has a huge army of officially jobless, and an even worse one of youth unemployment – let us not forget that in Greece, the jobless rate for the under-25s is above 50%, in Spain is it more than 45% and in Italy and France it is above 24%. {See also Eurozone debt crisis isn't Italy's biggest worry.}

It also has an even bigger reserve army of people who would like to work more but who have effectively been shut out of the jobs market.

That has important consequences for the economy that are too often overlooked. Such as? First, it means that the ECB has virtually no hope of ever getting the continent out of deflation and depression. . . .

Across a whole generation, the habit of working is being lost, and the skills that would be learned if people had jobs will never be acquired. Little by little, countries with those levels of unemployment and underemployment lose competitive advantage to nations where work is more plentiful."

Summing Up

Europe is a basket case.

We have lots of American leaders and college students who want us to become more like Europe.

Opting for socialism, an ever growing debt load, not emphasizing productivity, not allowing school choice (while creating more unproductive government jobs), and putting in place additional government programs which will only add to our long term debt, unemployment and underemployment issues, are not the answers to our many but still soluble problems.

It's time we face the facts and start dealing with them.

More government control and corruption, free stuff and private sector bashing will only make things worse for all of us.

And politicians seeking votes by pitting us against each other won't help by advocating free stuff and ignoring the evils of unnecessary debt and the absolute necessity to compete globally.

Yes, facts are stubborn things.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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