Saturday, May 19, 2012

Good News from Gee, Ate

Good news from the Gee, Ate meeting at Camp David.  Seriously.  President Obama announced that the European emphasis is shifting from austerity to jobs and economic expansion.  He noted that the path of encouraging growth while working on reducing longterm deficits has been his own policy, and left the conclusion to observers who might note that the U.S. economy is growing while Europe mostly isn't.  Unemployment in some countries is 20%--for young men, 50%. 

We'll see if policy follows but if it does, it is a test that European democracies pass--the ability to change to avert disaster, which doesn't seem within the capabilities of the U.S. political system at the moment.

Paul Krugman is among those who warned of such disaster if Europe--especially Germany--remains stubbornly committed to austerity, though in recent days he seemed fairly confident that they would be able to contain the Greece situation.  I expect he'll see this as an unexpectedly good sign, provided there is something more than rhetoric behind it.

If Europe averts crisis and the brightening prospects of defusing the Iran situation move towards fruition, then the major drag on the American economy comes from the GOPers and their wealthy supporters who want the U.S. economy to be as bad as possible.

President Obama also announced progress on combined plans to confront the Climate Crisis.

A little media note.  When the President made his statement today, the networks didn't carry it; MSNBC was in prison, CNN started it late and cut it off abruptly, apparently afraid of their viewers attention span--they had to get back to rerunning segments from Friday.  Only FOX news carried the statement from beginning to end, and did a fair summary afterwards.

Update: Here's a more detailed story from the NY Times.

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