With the odds of a US recession rising, I've been thinking about economic issues lately. On Friday, Paul Krugman, one of my favorite NYTimes columnists, wrote an interesting piece about Europe — the Comeback Continent. Krugman pointed to Europe's strengthening economy to refute the notion that low taxes and a weak social safety net (nixing goodies like universal health care) are essential to prosperity.
Offering data, Krugman maintained that Europe has seen great economic growth, without dismantling strong social safety nets. He argued that by exaggerating or misconstruing Europe's woes, Americans falsely excuse their system's injustices and insecurities. He writes, "the next time a politician tries to scare you with the European bogeyman, bear this in mind: Europe’s economy is actually doing O.K."
Although I know Europe has its share of problems, I think it's a good idea to step back from typical assumptions — in this case, that Europe is socialist and therefore economically in trouble — and look at what's really going on. Check out the article. Do you think that you can have social services and not eat your economic growth, too?