Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Collapse of the Welfare State in Greece and Spain?

I was watching PBS TV news which comes on in the Afternoon for the first showing here in Northern California where I live. It showed people in wheelchairs with nowhere else to turn in Greece demonstrating because they cannot afford the medicines they need to stay alive anymore. I have heard many different reports before from Greece and Spain and I was looking at this from a perspective that they were experiencing something like the "U.S. Great Depression". However, now I believe they are experiencing something worse than the U.S. Great Depression because there was no welfare state in the U.S. on any level during the 1930s. In fact, Social Security was put in place because of how so many people of all ages starved to death and died horrible deaths from 1929 through the Great Depression. So, in Greece and Spain because of the lives they were used to this is much worse for them than the U.S. Great Depression. I realized this only today. In Spain Unemployment is now over 25% which is what it was during the Great Depression here in the U.S. and Greece is somewhere between 21 and 24% unemployment. When you compare this to only 8% unemployment in the U.S. we actually have it pretty good here in comparison.

It appears to me that a welfare state of the kinds you tend to see all over Europe can only properly function in a way that keeps people happy and not committing much crime when economies are stable or growing. But in a large contraction economically like many countries in Europe are presently seeing under the Euro it can become a literal disaster for people in some countries like now.

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