CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Another Front Page Editorial on Deficits at the Post

Another Front Page Editorial on Deficits at the Post

Tuesday, 11 May 2010 04:38

The Washington Post (a.k.a. Fox on 15th Street) is getting ever more aggressive in pushing its anti-welfare state agenda. A front page news article on the Greek financial crisis told readers that: "And though economists and other analysts generally agreed that the program was necessary to prevent a full-blown financial crisis, they also agreed that it won't work unless European governments follow through on promises to bring down their large deficits and restructure their economies to become more competitive."

It then added: "'We can't finance our social model anymore -- with 1 percent structural growth we can't play a role in the world,' European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Monday in remarks at the World Economic Forum in Brussels, just hours after European Union finance ministers approved the new program."

In fact, there is nothing resembling the consensus about the failure of Europe's social model that this editorial implies. Unlike the United States, Europe as a whole has generally run balance of trade surpluses, suggesting that the European economies are more competitive than the U.S. economy. It is also worth noting that the welfare states in the countries facing crises right now (Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland) rank among the weaker ones in Europe. The relatively healthy economies of France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Scandanavian countries all have much stronger welfare states.

It's also worth noting how Europe and the world got into this crisis. The problems originated in letting housing bubbles grow unchecked and creating enormous economic imbalances. Apparently, news of the housing bubble still has not reached the Post.

Comments (3)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, May 11, 2010 8:37
Our Wealth of Nations, looted by louses
The same ones who bought our inflated houses

Let's teach 'em a lesson on econ recession
Pin it on them for socialist regression

Call WAPO to issue a press release
On welfare gluttons of wealth decrease

We'll show them who's the real boss
Of privatized gain and socialized loss
written by skeptonomist, May 11, 2010 10:40
When politicians, pundits and editorialists (not to mention reporters) talk about being "competitive" it usually means they are using nationalism (or europeanism) to push for some particular economic agenda, typically one favoring establishment or big-money interests. "Competition" in reality in these situations, and in the particular case of the european difficulties, means workers taking pay or benefit cuts so bankers can continue their operations as before. You don't need to be a Marxist to see that the real competition is between classes, and bankers and corporatists are winning.
Simple historical truth will clean the system!
written by Ed, May 11, 2010 1:29
Serial Herd Behaviors are kept out of sight!

The past is dominantly serial herd behaviors:
“Real Homes, Real Dow” at
Individuals’ experiences were overwhelmingly timing-dependent. People uninformed of these serial herd behaviors are people fooled. This fooling of the people is USA history to date.

Dramatic exception is provided by three recent articles:
“Adjusted for Inflation, Dow's Gains Are Puny”, E.S. Browning, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 28
“The Quiet Danger of Non-Inflation-Adjusted Stock Returns”, S.J. Dubner, New York Times, Dec. 28
“The Real Dow”, R. Chittum, Columbia Journalism Review, Jan. 5, http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/the_real_dow.php

Is unfooling the people at hand? I don’t know, but I surely hope so. I am certain that it is a far, far better thing for our nation if the people have their heads OUT of their fuming darknesses.

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.