Austerity and Its Discontents


Perched on a knoll rising gently above a man-made pond in Brussels’s stunning Parc Leopold sits the stately five-story granite building that once housed Europe’s first parliament. Years ago, that legislature began splitting time between Strasbourg, Luxembourg, and a sleek new building in Brussels.

The migration of the EU parliament is a fitting metaphor for a fast-moving trend that has taken hold on the Continent in the wake of its collapsing economies: the imposition of, and now the attempt to roll back, a series of measures to trim spending that Europeans often label, in a derogatory fashion, “austerity.” But after a period of pushback, pro-austerity forces are gaining strength by promoting responsible budgeting throughout the developed world.

Austerity, often known in the United States as “fiscal responsibility,” has stirred a heated academic and policy debate on both sides of the Atlantic. As austerity has been imposed by the European Union on the wayward, debt-laden countries on its periphery, in part on the basis of scholarly studies demonstrating its importance, many of those countries have bristled at its restrictions, as have left-leaning economists worldwide.

*Read the rest of the article here.

**The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Corner’s editorial policy.

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

Be the first to comment on "Austerity and Its Discontents"

Leave a comment