In Athens, Austerity’s Ugliness
nytimes.com — Europe declared war on Keynes, and Keynes is winning. In the United States, Republicans lambaste President Obama’s stimulus package as a failure and insist on bone-crunching budget-cutting. If you want to know how well that works, come visit Europe — especially Greece. It’s stunning here in Athens to see many traffic lights not working, to see beggars pawing through garbage for food, to see blackened ruins of shops burned in rioting. Yes, Greece needed a wake-up whack and economic reform, but Republican-style austerity knocked the patient unconscious. Contrast the still-shrinking economies of Europe with the stirrings of recovery in the United States, and you feel lucky to be an American and a beneficiary of President Obama’s stimulus.