Are we at the brink?
So I sit here flipping through the world news. Most of the stories are about Europe going to hell in a handbag.
But it’s not just the financial ramifications anymore, it’s the people and the government response to the people. All over Europe the populace has come to the realizations of the down side of capitalism. Capitalism was spoon feed to the world by the Americans as “free trade” and that if Mr Smith can make his tin can cheaper and better than Mr Jones then Mr Smith is a success.
What has happened is that over the last 70 or so years Mr Smith not only became the “best” at tin cans, but ice cream, televisions, and sofas as well. And if Mr Smith wasn’t the best at one thing he had the power from being the best at the other things he was able to push out the better operator in other areas. So now it wasn’t just Mr Jones out of business it was EVERYONE but Mr Smith.
And to protect this ideology the Americans convinced the world that both communism and socialism is baaaaad.
But it’s not just the evils of capitalism at play. The simple fact is that many European countries drank too deeply at the lake of the post-90s boom. Whilst some countries like Germany set themselves targets of self reliance and careful planning, the Greeks, Spanish, and Italians were partying like it was 1999. But now the balloon has burst.
Now the German population is up in arms asking why they should now bail out the rest of Europe? After all, they’d done the hands yards and built an economy built on solid investment while the rest of Europe had been cashing cheques their arse couldn’t pay.
On the flip side we have protest raging all around Europe because their governments are cutting all spending and increasing taxes to try and make up the debts. The populace is even more angry as they see these austerity measures being forced upon them by the likes of Germany.
So now we have the population of some nations pissed that they are being forced to bail out others, and on the flip side we have populations up in arms that their country is broke, services are being cut, taxes are going up and they’re feeling hard done by from the likes of Germany who are insisting on these cuts/taxes as a proviso of the bail out packages (I guess they actually want their money back one day).
And to add insult to injury we have entire segments of population in these broke countries not just on the poverty line, but sliding further and further downhill from it. We’re seeing whole areas slowly slipping back into the third world.
But it’s not just the very angry population, it’s the little tid bits you read within the protest reports. Things like in Germany where a bunch of anti-capitalist protesters were arrested defying “a ban on protest against austerity measures”. Huh? We have governments “banning” the right to protest on these specific issues? Seriously, that really, really does not bode well.
We reach a point now where the rest of the worlds economies are on the brink while we pray that Europe can sort themselves out. And we’re only on the outskirts. In the eye of the storm we have the heart of the first world (sorry America, it’s NOT you) in palpitations. Many can still remember the early 90s where the world economies went to hell before.
I’m not an economist, so I don’t have the answers. But I’m sure once everything sorts itself out in a few years, there will be a lot of explaining to do. I think there will be a realization that pure capitalism doesn’t not work. Some socialism is needed for an entire population to survive. The idea of working together for the greater good is a necessary part of any countries path. And that “free market” competition can work as long as it is kept in check and that rorting the market cannot be tolerated.