The Joplin Globe on
The G-8 summit held in Camp David ended as expected.
Everyone wants to stimulate more economic growth. But solutions on how to achieve economic growth, even forestall negative recession, were not forthcoming.
President Barack Obama and leaders of other world powers declared that their governments must both spark growth and cut the debt that has crippled the European continent and put investors on edge.
There was no resolution in the summit. Obviously no one wants austerity in terms of belt tightening. But everyone wants economic growth as the final outcome.
At the end of the day, leaders seemed intent on trying to inspire confidence by agreeing on a broad strategy, no matter their differences.
The Group of Eight summit includes leaders of the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Russia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to the summit as the European leader who had demanded austerity as the most important step toward easing the eurozone’s debt crisis. But the election of Socialist Francois Hollande as president of France, and Greek elections were clear rejections of the belt tightening Merkel represented.
One side calls for raising taxes and borrowing more money, the other calls for leaving taxes alone for now and spending less government money.
In Europe’s case, no one is running a political campaign right now. Given that fact, the chances are that the two sides might find a common political ground through careful, quiet negotiations with such that one side takes all is not the end result in policy matters.
Not so for America where a winner-take-all fight will be decided in November.
Western democracies are facing a real test of democracy, perhaps one of the greatest tests in history in current economic matters. We all want economic growth. No one wants austerity. But Western leadership has yet to find a way to persuade a substantial and sustaining majority of citizens in democracies to agree on such goals.
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