Much like Alice in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Europe seems to have jumped down the rabbit hole, maybe from boredom but more likely from a feeling of economic strain that is still sweeping over continent.
We have a pending Greek exit in one corner, in other corners the growth of the parties with only one agenda, the one point to solve everything, the immigrants. From the Swedish Democrats in north to the Golden Dawn in the south. Just outside this wonderland we have another children’s story character peeking in, the big bad wolf, watching from the east, trying to blow, blow the house down.
Now its not like I can come up with a solutions for all these things, but I can perhaps give a suggestion, to relive some of these effects. The problem is really easy to see, money. When people have less to spend, when unemployment goes up, the finger pointing will always start. Some people will see the possibilities they lack, others will see the past in that soft glow of yesteryears where nothing was wrong and all was right. Always it ends up with the “find the one to blame” game, and that game almost always ends up with some group. Directly we forget the simple fact that groups are made up of individuals and we bunch them together, sometime from region, sometime just from some arbitrary name like migrants or beggars. We also forget that pointing fingers can very easily be turned around, and suddenly the finger-pointing-person is the one being pointed at.
So what would be my suggestion? I can not only complain and have no suggestion, then I am only the white rabbit going around saying “Oh dear! Oh dear!”.
As I see it the deregulation of the financial market is what brought us to this economic crisis, the crisis that was only surpassed by the financial crash of 1929. After 1929 we got more regulation and it stayed like that into the late 80s or early 90s. Then it was decided to deregulate again, trading in derivatives and encouraging risk taking, and that can only work so long before it comes all tumbling down. Now a regulated finance market will not remove all recessions, as then we would have been spared them all between 1929-1990 and we weren’t, but at least it would take away the really bad ones, and saving in the process a hell of lot of money that otherwise must be used to bail out banks or countries.
Now there are of course other problems that a regulated financial market could not avoid. The problems with Greece would still exist, however not so bad and not that fast. The problem with the so called Greek exit is different countries, with different possibilities under the same economic umbrella, and put in a bit of fiddling with the numbers, and Greek exit here we come. This is the problem with a single currency, it can work, but for it to do so these kind of problems will have to be solved or the single currency can/will become a swinging door.
We should neither forget that we have the big bad wolf that would love to blow our houses down, or as the saying goes “united we stand, divided we fall”, if we now should stand, which we should, all of us. If he finds a crack you can be sure he will be there to widen it, he does not like stable houses.
So my suggestion would be a much tighter financial regulation. I am not saying we should not have a free market, just a market that works for all the people, and not just for the people at the top of the pyramid. No, this is not communism, but lets call it a social-capitalistic system that can take us to the end goal, whatever that end goal is. Of course the end goal could be that the 85 richest people have as much wealth as the 3,5 billion poorest people, and then we are already there, and we should not complain. But if we do, like me, then roping in the financial market is a good way to start, not the end, but at least we would be at the start line.