Skip to main content

Just over a week ago I detailed the destruction wrought by the economic austerity imposed by Europe's conservative governments, with millions of people having been driven into unemployment and poverty and whole economies being suffocated. Today's news adds to the story, and underscores the incomprehensible stupidity of the clueless investor class.

In political news, the French seem ready to elect Socialist Francois Hollande to be their president, although much of the news coverage has focused on the rise of far right racist Marine Le Pen, who received nearly 18 percent of the vote, nationwide. Hollande has campaigned against the austerity that has stifled the French economy, with stalled factory output and declining business confidence, and ten consecutive months of rising unemployment. Le Pen is the French version of the tea party Republicans, mixing racism and xenophobia with economic populism, and her modest (and somewhat overblown) success represents the inevitable embrace of extremism by some voters in the face of economic uncertainty. But the political implosion of French President Nicolas Sarkozy is proof that the French overall are ready to try a new economic approach.

In Holland, meanwhile, the center-right government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday tendered its collective resignation, which became inevitable when coalition partner, the Dutch extremist Party for Freedom (PVV), refused to support Rutte's plans for more of the austerity that already has punished the Dutch economy, people, and culture, has led to a real estate and building crisis, and risks backfiring even more. Polls show that while the left is not yet ready to recapture the Dutch government, the Socialists could double their seats in Parliament while the PVV will lose more than 20 percent of theirs.

In Monday's economic news, the Spanish austerity that has led to falling industrial output and deepening debt, with record unemployment and a stunning rate of 50 percent youth unemployment, now has the country officially back in recession.

So with austerity again and again proving a failure, and governments responsible for austerity finally beginning to fall, how are the markets reacting? They collapsed. Because nothing could be worse for the markets than a change from the economic policies that have been destroying economies. In the United States, it's political orthodoxy that Republican policies of tax cuts and budget cuts are better for the markets, but history proves exactly the opposite. The markets do better under Democrats. They are doing better under President Obama. And yet you still see supposed experts claiming that the markets will suffer should the president be reelected. It's one of those great mysteries of modern political and economic messaging, and it was summarized by Paul Krugman:

If Sarkozy somehow pulls off an upset win, it will mean more of the same European economic orthodoxy — the insistence that fiscal responsibility is the only virtue and austerity the universal answer. This orthodoxy somehow retains its grip despite overwhelming evidence that it’s wrong and disastrous failures in practice.

An Hollande victory would shake things up, and offer at least the possibility of something better.

This orthodoxy retains its grip only because the investor class has lost its grip. The facts speak for themselves. Austerity is a disaster. It's time for something different, something that actually works. If the investor class had any sense at all, the markets on Monday would have soared. Because France soon may be leading the way out of the European economic disaster. And the White House, unlike the new Republican leader, already seems to understand that austerity isn't the way out of the U.S. economic disaster.

Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Angie in WA State, Sylv, RF, Chi, filkertom, Odysseus, hester, melo, teacherken, Geenius at Wrok, badger, NYmom, Susan Gardner, Shockwave, LynChi, Pescadero Bill, Wintermute, billlaurelMD, hyperstation, gjohnsit, Matilda, hubcap, Creosote, TheMomCat, concernedamerican, bronte17, wonkydonkey, ask, mkfarkus, ctsteve, TheCrank, Cedwyn, Eric Blair, sockpuppet, Miss Jones, Urizen, pat bunny, 2laneIA, mnguitar, Chirons apprentice, defluxion10, papercut, lcrp, alizard, Sembtex, Hillbilly Dem, lonespark, vacantlook, Armand451, Gowrie Gal, sb, davidincleveland, joanneleon, radarlady, 3goldens, wsexson, unclejohn, Independent Musings, democracy inaction, basquebob, ChemBob, YucatanMan, reflectionsv37, majcmb1, Sun Tzu, where4art, Burned, blue jersey mom, markdd, Sandino, kaliope, Isara, sodalis, coolbreeze, Pluto, mightymouse, Land of Enchantment, zozie, Jim P, Hirodog, cybersaur, dharmafarmer, Russgirl, sleipner, Magnifico, global citizen, gooderservice, gatorcog, PapaChach, JVolvo, CTLiberal, el cid, ER Doc, rage, doingbusinessas, blueoregon, zedaker, shaharazade, Friend of the court, cpresley, Thinking Fella, seabos84, One Pissed Off Liberal, timewarp, ChadmanFL, Habitat Vic, Loudoun County Dem, SpecialKinFlag, camlbacker, Dartagnan, bfbenn, jds1978, david mizner, terabytes, joedemocrat, Aunt Martha, uscar, bobswern, jnhobbs, jhop7, TexasTwister, rmonroe, Clio2, weegeeone, OleHippieChick, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, elwior, treesrock, VL Baker, pickandshovel, temptxan, Gemina13, petulans, mattc129, Parthenia, Karl Rover, Old Surgeon, Robobagpiper, watercarrier4diogenes, CA coastsider, squarewheel, LaFeminista, prettygirlxoxoxo, Fonsia, greengemini, divineorder, nofear, banjolele, Carol in San Antonio, LeftOfYou, Nebraskablue, Methinks They Lie, Zotz, CamillesDad1, JesseCW, TheOpinionGuy, hyper, histOries Marko, Larsstephens, coppercelt, rb137, FogCityJohn, breathe67, jethrock, Klaus, gulfgal98, Publius2008, orlbucfan, elengul, Nada Lemming, Actbriniel, Mac in Maine, no way lack of brain, annieli, TAH from SLC, Liberal Capitalist, sabo33, sostos, stone clearing, FarWestGirl, Alice Olson, marleycat, sethtriggs, IllanoyGal, Wheever, BarackStarObama, Reinvented Daddy, poliwrangler, GrannyGeek, DRo, Mentatmark, caryltoo, ChiTownDenny, Auriandra, ParkRanger, I C Mainer, No one gets out alive, Azazello, quill, jeopardydd, Left In The Cold, anodnhajo, Williston Barrett, Siri, IndieGuy, foucaultspendulum, Eric Nelson, congenitalefty, Mr Robert, Mike RinRI, rivercard, TBug, radical simplicity, MartyM, notdarkyet, rat racer, George3, databob, Captain Chaos, Lily O Lady, ForestLake, desert rain, Markoff Chaney, Yastreblyansky, Frank Knarf, helpImdrowning, rigcath

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site