The European Union expects its economy to shrink in 2013, adding another year of dismal performance to its depressing track record. The Wall Street Journal (subscription model) reports:
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, forecast Friday a 0.3% contraction for 2013 and sees falling spending by businesses, consumers and national governments pushing euro-zone unemployment to a new high. Mass joblessness is expected to increase in the countries hardest hit by the crisis, with the average unemployment rate expected to reach 27% in Greece, 26.9% in Spain and 17.3% in Portugal.
Note those staggering unemployment numbers on the EU’s southern tier. Yet the American left constantly touts the European model as something we should imitate.
The Eurozone is caught in the trap of the modern progressive state: its regulatory zeal dampens economic growth, while its entitlement policies continually ramp up spending, which is then financed by deficits. But lately even ardent statists have come to recognize that the growing deficits are not sustainable. So the pressure is on to cut national deficits below 3% of GDP. France and Spain are currently in the forefront of this effort, but always on the lookout for wiggle room to avoid painful spending choices.
Barack Obama and his cultists should take note. But they won’t.
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