Austerity Is a Disaster: The Lesson of Europe’s Record Unemployment
The GOP argument is that deficits lead to unemployment, not austerity and that the only way to increase employment is to hit bottom and climb up, naturally, when the job creators see wages drop enough./
Euro zone unemployment just hit a 15-year high. German unemployment just hit a 15-year low. What can those of us across the Atlantic glean from this seemingly bipolar state of affairs? That austerity, every economic conservative’s favorite prescription for an ailing economy — the medicine Republicans here in the United States are pushing hard — is an utter disaster.
A few euro zone members, including Germany and the Netherlands, are enjoying a relative jobs boom. And yet, Europe’s overall unemployment rate is 10.8 percent. How is this possible? Because of depression-level unemployment in Europe’s austerity-plagued periphery. The chart below compares unemployment among the euro zone’s 17 members (courtesy of Eurostat).