27 March 2017   1 comment

Eurofound has released a new study on income inequalities and employment in Europe before and after the Great Recession of 2008-2009.  The study demonstrates the steady erosion of the European Middle Class since 2009, a finding that correlates strongly with the growth of right-wing parties in Europe.  According to the analysis:

“The Great Recession has resulted in the reduction in the size of the middle class between 2009 and 2014 (income referring to 2008-2013) in all Member States apart from Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland and Lithuania. This has been especially relevant in some of the peripheral Member States hardest hit by the crisis – several Mediterranean countries (Cyprus, Greece and Spain especially) and some countries in the eastern part of the EU (Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia) . Nevertheless, significant reductions in the middle class have also been registered in some countries where its size was relatively large initially, such as the Scandinavian countries.”

The study suggests that this decline will not be reversed until robust economic growth returns to Europe, an outcome that does not yet seem to be on the horizon.

Addressing the issue of climate change is often cast as a question of protecting the environment at the cost of economic growth–the problem is often referred to as decoupling environmental damage from economic activity.  The answer to the question of whether decoupling is possible is complicated.  The US and China have made progress in reducing their emissions of CO2 while maintaining levels of economic growth.  But whether other countries, such as India, can manage this decoupling at their current level of development is not known and those countries have made clear that they will not sacrifice economic growth because their problems of poverty are severe.  We need to start asking the question of whether economic growth is the only way to reduce poverty and whether high levels of economic growth are necessary for a high standard of living.

There are reports that the US is thinking about increasing its support for Saudi Arabian efforts to defeat Houthi forces in Yemen.  The US and Saudi Arabia believe that Iran is aiding the Houthis in an effort to expand Iranian influence in the Middle East.  Yemen is a very poor country which has been ravaged by war since the overthrow of the government in 2014 by Houthi forces.  Control over Yemen also gives control over the Bab al-Mandab strait through which large amounts of oil flow.  If these reports are true, then it means that the US is stepping up its military activities in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen–virtually without any public discussion or debate.

Posted March 27, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

One response to “27 March 2017

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  1. Thanks for sharing the best posts they amazing and very useful to us. You made a good site and giving us such a great information on this topic it’s very help us.

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