Over the past few decades, several European nations, like Germany and the Netherlands, have played by the rules and practiced good governance. They have lived within their means, undertaken painful reforms, enhanced their competitiveness and reinforced good values. Now they are being brutally browbeaten for not wanting to bail out nations like Greece, Italy and Spain, which did not do these things, which instead borrowed huge amounts of money that they are choosing not to repay.more of the Brooks travesty.
Before the crisis Spain had low and declining debt. Italy had high debt inherited from the past, but it was steadily working that debt down relative to GDP. Neither country was being profligate — that’s just not what happened. Since the crisis debt has been rising relative to GDP, but that’s what happens when you have an economic crisis.more facts from Krugman.
Yes, Greece. But Greece is now a tiny part of this story. As I said in today’s column, Greece (GDP of about $300 billion) is roughly Greater Miami ($270 billion). Italy and Spain are the big stories, and they were not, repeat not, fiscally profligate
What a party-pooper Krugman is! Ruining David Brooks's morality play with mean old poopy facts!