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Saturday, June 29, 2013

By Michael Mccune: The Rant (government auditor for 16 years) - America Following EU On Economic Path - (( to Have Michael send you the Rant to your Email contact Him Here (( ))

 America Following EU On Economic Path

Most science studies have adventuresome names attached to them. The exception is economics. It's nickname is the "Dismal Science." Sifting through government data is probably the reason why.
The Euro Union is facing yet another crisis. Despite four years of continuous central bank intervention, the EU economy is not getting any better. This is important to America because our central bank (the Federal Reserve) and our government seem intent on following the same procedures the EU used in order to 'fix' our economy.
The major problem starts in school. Too many of the EU's 25-35 age group have university degrees in areas that simply do not have much demand in the current financial difficulties.
When things are tough how is a degree in eco-tourism going to provide a living? How about a cultural history degree? When the main emphasis is on obtaining and holding a job, culture comes in a distant second. Americans, through government grants used to promote the benefits of higher education on the young, are falling into the same trap as most liberal arts degrees are not in demand except by government employment.
The EU work force pool is estimated to be 240 million (as of December 31, 2012 when the last reliable numbers were compiled.) Of that workforce, 25 million were unemployed and looking for work providing the official 10.4% unemployment rate.
Eleven million had given up looking for jobs and were therefore not classified an unemployed but this 4.6% brings the total to 15%. Another 9 million were in part-time jobs and wanted to work more hours but there is no opportunity in the rigidly controlled environment. That adds another 3.75% of the work force.
But then there is the group that is 'overqualified' for the job they hold. The EU doesn't keep track of such a category but there was a study published in 2011 by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (sic) which found 65 million Europeans fell into this niche. That's more than 27% of the entire workforce now.
How much has the situation slid in the two years since the study was released? Only the EU knows for sure but the subject is too sore for it to publicly discuss. But Daniel Feldman, a specialist in underemployment and the effects on the economy, has put a price tag of "tens of billions of euros" on this overqualified area.
The only hopeful sign from the EU officials is that while they are focused on the excessively high rate of unemployment among youth (a rate that is establishing a permanent, government trough feeding underclass) they are aware of the threat posed by underemployment.
With massive numbers of the work force put in a no-win situation, one has to speculate on the long-term effect this is going to have on the EU's economy. The logical conclusion is this government is going to face much tougher decisions than the ones it has made in the last two years.
But Europe has an entire generation ready to disappear from the landscape. This group is never going to contribute to the economic well-being of the EU. This group, as it ages, will be a much larger drag on any economic gains the immediate preceding and succeeding generations might accomplish. The EU's very survival is at risk.
Cross the Atlantic to the United States. Are we not on the same path? Are we not in the same trouble if not worse because the EU has strict immigration laws where the U.S. does not.
Have we not seen 10 million jobs disappear from the economy in the past six years (as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers)? Have we not seen the horrendous effects of a youth group without marketable skills or saddled with meaningless degrees acquired on debt?
The only advantage the U.S. currently has is a agricultural system that can feed itself year after year. The fact our economic picture surpasses that of the EU is founded in our ability to produce sufficient food for the citizens.
Yet the Environmental Protection Agency seems determined to undermine that foundation. In its effort to expand control the EPA is given every tool to decimate our economy at will. It is not charged with explaining or even acknowledging the economic harm it is doing with the voluminous regulations it disgorges regularly.
Environmentalists got their way in Europe by popular demand in the 1980s and 1990s. Their fear of environmental harm bit them in the economic derriere. America is following the same course. Only this time it is not the people leading but an out-of-control bureaucracy allegedly doing it "for our own good."
In less than a decade the Eu's employment dirge will be America's. Who will we turn to?
"I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man."--Thomas Jefferson

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