Oh God – I cannot take any more of the austerity debate – Telegraph Blogs

Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksban...

Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2008 at a press conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an excellent informative article by Jeremy Warner in a Telegraph blog. It’s a RECOMMENDED READ, in my view. Check it out!

via Oh God – I cannot take any more of the austerity debate – Telegraph Blogs.

Personally, I find the title distasteful. It’s shows no respect for those millions of families who have suffered from excessive austerity. In my mind, austerity is still a hot subject and I suspect that historians will debate it for years to come.

I am a regular reader of both Paul Krugman and Simon Wren-Lewis’ blogs. I agree with Simon Wren-Lewis that economists have a responsibility to help journalists write accurately about economic issues.

For me, the Warner article lacks balance, and the alternative perspective. It’s almost as if it’s a bit of red meat to Telegraph readers.

Let me turn this to an open question:

Is it time to close the austerity debate?

Any thoughts?

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A Smug Merkel Avoids Controversy in Bid for Reelection – SPIEGEL ONLINE

This is an excellent, quite lengthy but MUST READ article on Angela Merkel in Spiegel. Check it out!

A Smug Merkel Avoids Controversy in Bid for Reelection – SPIEGEL ONLINE.rather than issues.

As I read the lengthy article, my mind wandered, picking up some of the threads in the article.

Initially, I suppose that I was angered that German voters were not challenging important political issues but soon realized that the German election was about personalities. It seems that German voters see Angela Merkel as a safe pair of hands, so are happy not to ask awkward questions.  It worries me that Angela Merkel is able to avoid debating  real issues in Germany.

Interestingly, the article painted a very different international Merkel to domestic Merkel. In the international arena, Merkel is a formidable leader. There is an interesting story about a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Russia, where Putin was forced to back down. Perhaps, David Cameron and Barack Obama could learn from Angela Merkel a few tips about dealing with Vladimir Putin.

Personally, I identified with Angela Merkel’s view on the European Commission that it has too much power which should be reduced and returned to national states. Surely, this is a big issue? Well it seems that EU power is not an election issue; it’s tucked away for after the election.

Most importantly, I compared Angela Merkel to David Cameron. In Germany voters trust Angela Merkel so much that they do not question about policies and issues. In the UK, of course, typically I sense that voters do not trust David Cameron’s leadership. In the UK they see a privileged, somewhat arrogant leader who is able to jump from crisis to crisis, regularly changing or reversing policies. Most importantly, Angela Merkel is a consensus leader, whereas David Cameron is more about “OK chaps tally ho!”

Let me turn this to an open question:


English: THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY, BERLIN. President Putin with Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democratic Union. Русский: БЕРЛИН, ПОСОЛЬСТВО РОССИИ. С председателем Христианско-демократического союза Ангелой Меркель. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What lessons should European political leaders, especially those in the UK, learn from Angela Merkel?

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