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    Why do you hate us Aesop!

    Fatih Özatay, PhD01 October 2013 - Okunma Sayısı: 1004

    Nowadays the main cause of the tension originating from the US is in the second category, that is, the risk that things might jump the track.

    For your sanity, it is useful not to always see the glass half empty. Of course it is impossible not to feel sorry for the high unemployment rates in Spain and Greece, people losing their jobs or young men and women with university degrees but without a job. But we also need to admit that the European crisis also has fun sides. Or at least we have to say “it used to have” since we have not heard much of Europe lately.

    Take the cover of a 2012 issue of the Economist, for instance, which depicted Merkel reading a fictitious document titled “How to break up the Euro.” The fun part, however, was different. Here is the title of an interview featured at the Telegraph: “Finland prepares for break-up of Eurozone.” The interview was with the foreign minister of the country. On a note, the interviewer said that the minister had a copy of the abovementioned issue of the Economist on his desk. He may have forgotten it there or been giving an implicit message. This does not matter for the fun part of the story.

    For a while now we haven’t heard much of Europe and its financial problems. It is all about the US know. And I mean it when I say all! If things are well in the US, it is a problem for us. If things are bad in the US, it still is a problem for us. The US economy lately started to turn around. The steps the Federal Reserve Bank (FED) is expected to launch as the prospects start to improve have been bugging countries like Turkey more and more since late May this year. All economic news channels discuss for hours every single data released in the US. The biggest fear is that the recovery process will become evident because then the FED will actually take the steps the possibility of which has already messed the markets up here and later will intensify the magnitude of the measures.

    The interesting part is that the US economy jumping the track also is bad news for us here. To say the least, we have to keep in mind that all the trouble the world economy encountered in 2009 as well as the unemployment hike and sharp economic contraction in Turkey were due to the US economy going out of track.

    Nowadays the main cause of the tension originating from the US is in the second category, that is, the risk that things might jump the track. As of midnight today, the US government might shut down and the US Treasury might fail to make a large sum of payments. Democrats and Republicans were not able to reach a consensus, the fundamental disagreement being Republicans’ opposition to the imposition of taxes for every single public service offered and hence their demand to cut health expenditures.

    The tax allergy we are talking about is so severe in the US. Former FED chairman Alan Greenspan’s aphorism that taxes are impediments to economic growth is one example. And take this: once at the homepage of the website ‘Why socialism fails’ was Aesop’s fable the goose that laid the golden eggs. Remember the story? The greedy owners of the goose kill it so as to get all the gold at once instead of settling with one golden egg a day. Having done so, they find out that there is no gold inside the goose. This is what additional imposition of taxes especially on the rich is like in the eyes of radical Republicans.

    This commentary was published in Radikal daily on 01.10.2013

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