Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What's The Matter With Europe?

Paul Krugman provides his analysis of the economic and political problems in Europe.  The common currency, and the mistaken imposition of austerity by its leadership, were the primary economic problems.  It was held together, however, by a commitment to democracy by its elite.  That commitment is now withering away in Italy, Hungary and Poland.  Communism is no longer a threat to democracy in Europe but fascism may be its true passion.  Poland did not adopt the common currency and its economy escaped the damage created in many nations by common currency.  However, its democracy is being systematically replaced by an autocracy fueled by ethnocentrism.

The US economy has recovered from the financial crisis but Trump has been systematically attacking the institutions established by the Constitution to limit his power and authority.  He is being aided and abetted by the Republican Party which he has captured by assuming control over the far right base which is now the core of the radicalized party.  The radicalization of the Republican Party has been underway for decades.  The process was largely ignored by the central media which adopted a false equivalence policy towards our two major parties.  They are being rewarded now by Trump who has convinced his base that they provide "fake news".  They get their news from sources that might just as well be housed in the White House.  Krugman is not very positive about the outcome of this process.  The Republican Party has redefined conservatism.  It is closer to fascism than the form of conservatism that once defined the Republican Party.

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