Cultural Revolutions

It Takes a Crisis

While Europe’s monetary crisis spreads, Americans watch in astonishment as the German government bails out its feckless co-unionists.  Greece’s financial predicaments boiled over last summer with baton-wielding riot police pummeling Greek civil servants who objected to their government’s modest proposal to raise the official retirement age from 61 to 63 by 2015.  In response, Germany raised her official retirement age from 65 to 67 to make up in productivity what Greeks think their Teutonic neighbors owe them.  Then this past fall, Ireland’s banks, choking on bad residential and commercial mortgages, required an €85 billion Heimlich hug of a bailout from the European Union, otherwise known as Germany and France.

The German public gnashes its teeth at each of these impositions, while German leaders ignore their objections.  How long can this untenable political charade go on?  How about forever?  If not forever, then perhaps until the printing presses Germany uses for her own bonds run out of ink.

The average German is well within his rights to squeal like a stuck pig every time his leaders propose another bailout for the latest “Euro-mess.”  But German leaders claim that a common European currency is a crucial German national interest.  Germany, a net exporter, has benefited from a steady euro as she ships her products across Europe.  If Germany were to replace...

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