I was extremely excited to see the development of a much-needed dialogue manifest itself last night. Throughout the years, I have always squirmed at the mention of Greece, Italy and Spain in U.S. media broadcasts. I squirmed for several reasons:
1) Whenever these countries were brought up, the Euro bashing would begin.
2) When the Euro bashing began, airwaves would fill with lies and half-truths distorting the reality and factual basis for the crises in these countries and in the Eurozone.
3) My frustration, as a result, would grow because I knew that these lies and half-truths were being disseminated by people who have an agenda to keep U.S. Americans uninformed, fearful and dismissive of anything the European Union did or achieved.
4) Sadness would take root in my mind and soul that, once again, the opportunity to open a critical dialogue for our nation was once again buried under untruths and we would continue down the path of social injustice here at home.
Last night, however, MSNBC and Chris Hayes took it upon themselves to speak with the former Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, who intimately knows the history, problems and complexities his country was and is facing. We need to heed his warning that austerity is not the path we should choose based upon his experience: Chris Hayes and former Prime Minister Papandreou
This viewpoint was further supported by Radhika Balakrishnan and Chrystia Freeland:
Radhika and Chrystia Add Important Insight to the Discussion
I greatly applaud the fact that no one on the panel was afraid to draw parallels to our own socio-economic system. In fact, their firmly voiced unanimous recommendations for the need for deeper consideration and self-reflection on our part to solve our crisis here at home were enlivening. It would behoove us to invite experts from various countries and relevant backgrounds to factually inform the U.S. public of not only crises in their countries/regions but, especially, of their achievements in socio-economic policy. I am quite sure many U.S. Americans would be shocked to learn of how our socio-economic system is viewed.
In support of the afore-mentioned certainty and in closing, I would like to revisit an observation I made in a previous blog. If the opinion of Germany’s arch conservative think tank, the Roman Herzog Institute, is any indication, then conservative actors in our society should pay very close attention:
“If an arch conservative German think tank (the Roman Herzog Institute: http://www.romanherzoginstitut.de/uploads/tx_mspublication/Enste-Soziale_Marktwirtschaft_aus_ordnungspolitischer_Sicht.pdf , please see Die marktwirtschaftliche Loesung angelsaechsischer Praegung table on pg. 12) says that:
1) our social welfare system is weak and rudimentary,
2) that we invest too little in our human capital and
3) that our system doesn’t provide “Equal & Fair Start Opportunities”
then it is glaringly evident that we are on the wrong path with the wrong mindset and the wrong system. Breathe deeply and consider this, Germany has learned from its mistakes. It is not perfect, but it has evolved. It took 2 World Wars, the determined goodwill of a Marshall Plan and domestic upheaval in the form of the Green Revolution as well as other progressive social movements to create this highly socially conscious and dynamic economic powerhouse.” -excerpt from An Exercise In Love