Saturday, April 14, 2012

Austerity Kills

The NY Times reports an epidemic of suicides in European countries whose economies have been hard-hit by austerity:

“This is a social malaise, we’re inside a tunnel and there’s no light at any end,” said Mr. Federico, whose union is starting a new foundation to assist victims of the economic crisis. The daughters of Giovanni Schiavon and Antonio Tamiozzo are among the founding members.
“People don’t kill themselves just because they have debts,” Mr. Federico said, “it’s a combination of factors that lead to desperation.
“But what links all these situations ultimately is indifference, and lack of respect for the years of work that they’d done,” he said. “On some level, they must have felt that.”

NY Times Portrait of Hollande

Here. A comparison to Mitt Romney--the unkindest cut of all:
This doesn’t bother Hollande. He described how no one thought François Mitterrand, France’s first and only Socialist president, had a chance of winning. “Often people told me, ‘Oh, la, la, François Mitterrand, what charisma, what a president!’ But before he became president, they used to call him badly dressed, old, archaic, he knows nothing about the economy.” But the day he was elected, Hollande said, Mitterrand was transformed.
“In a moment, you are invested, you incarnate France — that changes everything.”

The White House Was In On It

The White House has confirmed that it was aware that Sarkozy was going to record and broadcast the first few minutes of their video conference. Hence we have to assume that President Obama willingly lent his support to Nicolas Sarkozy. I would like to know why, especially since Sarkozy in semi-private settings has not always been terribly complimentary of "mon ami Barak." Incumbents know the injustice of incumbency, I suppose.