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Europe Needs a Rooseveltian New Deal

Nov. 12, 2016 (EIRNS)—Despair and rage among average Americans about their established elites has brought Trump into the White House, in a surge of populism not entirely different from what happened in many countries in the Great Depression 80 years ago, Germany’s Der Spiegel writes in an analysis of the U.S. election. The author, Thomas Fricke, says that the same trend is also on the agenda in Europe, where the "stability masochism" (sic) of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble reigns, but the fact is that the origins of the crisis have not been removed, but only the symptoms. Germany and Europe can learn from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal approach: He supported the losers of that time’s financial collapse, and he mobilized the economy in three consecutive New Deals:

The first Deal from 1933 on, employed 3 million Americans to work in reforestation, dam-building, and repair of roads and railroads. Money was given to farmers, to employ teachers, and for construction jobs, and power plants were built. In 1935, the second program followed, with new legislation, particularly social programs. The third New Deal from 1937 on, established the minimum wage and launched more job creation programs.

Fricke notes that it is true that the biggest political shakeups this year occurred with the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and with the Presidential vote in the United States—that is, in countries where the liberal free market dogma has caused the biggest devastation through the effects of globalization. However, the continental European countries where this dogma is less established, are not safe from the same political shocks. Roosevelt, Fricke writes, was not even that successful, but he put an end to "the insanity of a deranged globalization and of liberalized finances," which sufficed to stop the right-wing populists of his era. The same must be done in Europe, with a spectacular investment thrust, to stop populists as well. If that is not done, the next political shocks are certain to occur in France and Italy, and maybe also in Germany. Time is running out, Fricke warns.

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