Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Words and Meanings- European Style

Words and Meaning - European Style

Following on from my last post, where I explored the different meanings of the same words used by Democrats and Republicans, it is interesting to see how those same words are used by Europeans of the Left and the Right.

1. Growth, as opposed to austerity-- Who doesn't want growth. Even those who are pushing austerity also would like growth. However the Left and the Right  differ as to how to accomplish growth.

While the Left today talks about wanting growth , one of way to achieve growth is to cut taxes. However , to Europeans, especially on the Left, that is an anathema.

Another way to stimulate growth is to reduce government regulation and bureaucracy , but the Europeans don't believe in that either.

No, the only thing Leftist Europeans would do to stimulate growth is to increase government spending.

But where would they get the money to spend?

If they try to borrower, who would lend, and at what price? The debt in many countries is already very high and many countries have to pay really high rates of interest. Spain and Italy are hovering around 6%, while the US ( which also has too much debt) is under 2%.

If they raise taxes to increase spending doesn't that just retard growth?

Frankly, I'm at a loss to understand what Europeans mean by adopting a growth strategy, particulary within the Euro zone.

2. Tax Reform -- In Europe they don't talk much about that, other than to raise taxes. However, as I mentioned earlier, I've always thought that raising taxes is not good for growth.

I guess one thing they can do is to get people to actually pay the taxes they owe, which isn't so easy in places like Greece.

3. Debt Reduction-- You'd think that would be a big one; and it is for the Right in Europe. However, the Left just wants to leave it for another day and , in fact , wants to do more spending that will actually increase  debt further.

What to do now that the Left is in ascendancy?  I have no idea , especially given the constraints of the Euro zone;  but that's a whole other issue.

So once again everyone in Europe is  for the same "words" however , just like in the US , they have different "meanings", depending on ones politics.