Certain things about the current European situation are obvious. The Spanish banks hold billions of euros worth of bad real estate loans. The Government has arranged for the banks to receive billions of euros of money so people will be confident that they will be able to meet their obligations. Meanwhile the Spanish government pursues austerity measures guaranteed to make the economy (and the bad real estate loans held by the bank) worse. Where do they think this will end? Is there an alternative system of math that allows this to all work out? You can't contract your economy to get out of a recession.
Up next on our European Financial crisis hit parade: Italy followed by France.
There is an article this morning about Morris County NJ. Morris County is an affluent county in an affluent state and the article points out the use of food stamps is up 240% since the start of the recession. Economics is more than just numbers, in this silly season of overheated political rhetoric we should keep in mind that all our political/economic choices affect real people. If we decide to cut state employees we should realize someone just lost their job. This does not mean we shouldn't make these choices but we should be aware of the human cost involved.