By Georgianna Reilly, L.M.S.W.
SJS Staff Writer
America has it bad, this was made clear by both parties in the election. But, one needs to only look across the Atlantic Ocean to see that we could in fact be much worse off. According to BBC news the Eurozone (The 17-nation block that makes up the EU) has fallen back into a recession for the first time since 2009. This appears to be a situation made worse by the decisions of particular countries, including the implementation of austerity measures in many countries to cut spending, and which is causing tension between nations that is increasingly dangerous to the world market.
Austerity Measures are a bad for public workers, social workers, and those citizens in need as it means cutting benefits and services available. While supposedly decreasing spending, this is unfortunately going to lead to more unemployment and inequality. As one article put it:
“It’s increasing inequalities, it’s increasing the social instability in society and it’s not resolving the economic crisis,” she said.
This announcement comes on the heels of violent clashes and protests against these measures, and the unemployment rates which are rising drastically (some countries seeing unemployment as high as 25%). In Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Lisbon and more the protests are raging, and this picture will likely not change for some time to come.
So, what can the USA learn from these actions? I for one would say that the key lesson is solving our economic and financial issues NOW. If we let them fester, attempt to fix them with more bailouts and neglect to address that the worlds economic structure is changing and needs new means of maintaining it we will be in the same downward spiral as Europe.