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Saturday, 5 November 2011

The future of Europe and the west - downhill?

There was an excellent article in The Times today by Matthew Parris entitled, "Face it. There is no answer to the eurocrisis". I'd like to link to it but don't subscribe to the Times app yet.  In summary, his thesis is that we have now past the best times in the west and our only route is downhill. We are kidding ourselves about our current fate by evasion.

We are kidding ourselves that the problems were created by the bankers whereas it is fundamentally down to our excesses in the last 50 years or more.  We elected our politicians. We allowed a system that rewarded bankers huge bonuses and allowed them to gamble our money for their gain. We could have seen the writing on the wall, but we chose to ignore it. We were all aware we were living beyond our means on money that didn't exist, but we all believed the myth that growth was making the world better for everyone. Now our chickens have come home to roost and we'd better come to terms with the new age we now face.

My own view is this new age is also an opportunity: one in which sustainable living within our means and personal happiness will be more important than growth and the culture of excessive consumption.  Just maybe we'll get our values more in focus and see the last 100 years as an aberration. It is up to us.

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