Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Austerity Uber Alles

According to the German government, the IMF and the European Central Bank there is one and only one solution to every economic problem in Europe today. Austerity. Cut back. Cut drastically. Throw thousands of government workers out of jobs and any private sector folks who depend on their spending. Don't worry, it'll all work out in the long run.

So picture an editorial cartoon with an American sensibility about the current European debt crisis. Take Angela Merkel and put her in a white cowboy hat and domino mask. Give her a gun in one hand. A really big gun. A bad video game sized BFG. In the other hand she holds proudly an outsized bullet to fit such an outrageous weapon. Silver, of course. Label the bullet "Austerity". Before her stands the villain of the piece, hard-bitten, looking mean and wearing a dirty black outfit. Label him "Depression". Next to him is a prime example of the innocent townfolk of this Western frontier scenario. A middle-aged woman wearing homespun gingham who looks at the villain with terror on her face as her children grip her skirts. Label her "Economies", with a design in her dress of the names of European nations. Label her children as "Jobs" and "Standard of Living". Next frame, Angela's done her best, smoke is rising from the barrel of her gun and the children are staring in horror at the body of their mother lying on the ground. Oops.