Austerity and Structural Adjustment for Europe
For a while now many European governments have resorted to austerity measures to deal with the recession and financial crises affecting them. This may have either been by choice, or pressured from the outside.
However, as has been warned countless times, excessive austerity rarely works. Furthermore, focusing on debts and deficits appears to miss the point that the economic problems were caused by a collapse in markets and banking sector in particular, resulting in less revenues for governments; not necessarily an excessive overspend by governments.
Some of the policies being forced through even when evidence appears to show they do not work lead many to think that austerity and structural adjustment policies are being ideologically pushed for — just as they were on most of the developing countries for almost 2 decades with devastating results.
Indeed, in the US, investigations have found billionaires pouring hundreds of millions of dollars on campaigns to fix the debt making it appear as a grassroots movement. Fixing the debt of course happens to leave the elite less affected, so it works to their advantage to push for something like that.
Without more focus on appropriate economic growth, there is a real risk in going backwards, and even undermining democracy.
The global financial crisis page on this web site has been updated with new sections and videos on this issue.