Miners used to take a canary into the coal mine in hopes that if the canary croaked from poisonous gases, they would be able to escape before they followed suit.
We were long lambasted by the left in this country to "follow Europe", and much to our peril, we have followed significantly. Now, the European "canary" is choking and sputtering, while BO is working hard to lead us farther into the noxious mine of unsupportable entitlements plus massive taxes and regulation to restrict our ability to breath at all. WILL WE HEED THE OBVIOUS WARNING!!!
"... easy money, unsustainable social spending and big budget deficits." HELLOOOOO !!!!!
So now the reckoning. In Ireland, the burst housing bubble left a massive budget deficit and lifted unemployment to 14 percent. Most European economies suffer from the ill effects of some combination of easy money, unsustainable social spending and big budget deficits. Countries are interconnected, so there are spillover effects. European banks -- led by British, German, French and Belgian banks -- have $500 billion in loans and investments in Ireland, reports the Financial Times. Large losses could snowball into a broader banking crisis.
Europe's challenge is no longer just economic. It's also social and political. Cherished values and ideals are under assault. The euro, intended to nurture unity, has bred discord, as countries assign blame and argue over sharing costs. The social contract is being rewritten, with government benefits and protections being cut. In Ireland, the governing coalition seems doomed; one minority party has withdrawn its support.