Schools Without Toilet Paper? The Pain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain Folks
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And it goes on. In a recent article, "Spain's safety net frays as care workers go unpaid," Reuters reports that nurses, streetcleaners, and caregivers of the mentally ill and others in desperate need of help are being laid off. Sick people can't get medication. The human costs of austerity measures are cruel and startling.
The eurozone structure and the austerity madness has exacerbated the gap between the more robust northern economies and shrinking southern ones, which is a recipe for growing social unrest. As regular people and workers get increasingly squeezed, protests are bound to follow. Social critics warn of a whole "lost generation" with no hope and nothing to lose.
Even Martin Wolf of the Financial Times (not exactly the paper of record for the 99%) calls this situation "insanity":
"One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Germany's determination to impose a fiscal hair shirt on its eurozone partners did not work in the "stability and growth pact". Is it going to work in the "treaty on stability, co-ordination and governance" agreed last week? I doubt it. The treaty reflects the view that the crisis was due to fiscal indiscipline and that the solution is more discipline. This is far from the whole truth. Rigorous application of such a misleading idea is dangerous."
There is a madness stalking Europe. And it's not the "fiscal irresponsibility" of ordinary citizens. It's the greed and short-sightedness of elites who don't seem to mind that innocent children are made to pay for their excesses. That is surely another definition of insanity.
Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet contributing editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of 'Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.' Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.