NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The 17-nation eurozone's unemployment rate reached the highest level since the creation of the common currency 13 years ago, climbing to 11% in April as employers slashed 110,000 jobs. [...]The recent worsening of the problems in Europe are almost entirely due to one thing: austerity, that is, the unqualified slashing of public safety nets designed to get people through tough times. That, by the way, is almost identical to the Republican economic plan - to slash spending on education, infrastructure, medical care, food security and other safety net and economic programs that help build a middle class and cushion a blow. I say almost identical, because the Republican plan is much more cruel than the plan in place in European nations practicing austerity.
The U.S. May jobs report, also released Friday, showed that U.S. employers added 69,000 jobs, while unemployment ticked up to 8.2%. While both results were much worse than the forecasts of economists surveyed by CNNMoney, who had been expecting 150,000 new jobs to keep unemployment at 8.1%, it was far better than Europe's job picture.
Paul Krugman - finally returning to economics rather than trying to decipher politics - explains in a pretty simple but effective way.
In fairness to Britain’s conservatives, they aren’t quite as crude as their American counterparts. They don’t rail against the evils of deficits in one breath, then demand huge tax cuts for the wealthy in the next (although the Cameron government has, in fact, significantly cut the top tax rate). And, in general, they seem less determined than America’s right to aid the rich and punish the poor. Still, the direction of policy is the same — and so is the fundamental insincerity of the calls for austerity.What has austerity like this gotten the Europeans? A freshly high unemployment rate of 11%, with employers cutting jobs. If we allow the Republicans in Congress to continue to block investments in critical areas to spur job creation, we really will have no one to blame but ourselves. If we allow Republicans to gain political and electoral advantage from their own obstructionist, anti-growth agenda, it won't take us that long to start looking like the Eurozone, only worse, much worse.
Europe has proven that the severity of austerity in economically hard times is not only non-conducive to economic growth, but that it is directly counter to economic and employment growth coming out of a deep recession. Yet, Mitt Romney and the Republicans continue to advocate for - with hardly any media scrutiny to its consequences - far harsher austerity measures than are devastating Europe. They advocate not only harsher cuts but huge tax giveaways to the rich and multinational corporations, further reducing the power of the average consumer and thus further declining the economy.
You think it's bad with the Republicans in charge of the House successfully blocking needed investments in the economy? Just wait till they start running everything again. You will be begging for 11% unemployment.
This election is a choice - a choice to break gridlock. We either pick President Obama and a Democratic Congress to renew investments in our future, or we pick Romney and a Republican Congress to turn us into a bad facsimile of the current Europe. Our choice, America. Time to get serious.